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Shane Kitterman

Other Sex Offender Registration Exonerations
https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/PublishingImages/St._Clair_County_IL.jpg
On November 5, 2012, police in St. Clair County, Illinois arrested 34-year-old Shane Kitterman on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender based on records showing he had been convicted in 1996 of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 13.

After his conviction in 1996, Kitterman was placed on probation for four years and he was informed that he was required to register as a sex offender for 10 years. In 1997, his probation was revoked and he was sentenced to four years in prison. He was released on parole in 1998.

In July 2005, Kitterman pled guilty to three felony charges—obstructing justice, failure to register as a sex offender for failing to report a change of address, and retail theft. He was sentenced to three years in prison and released in December 2006. At that time, the Illinois State Police notified Kitterman that his sex offender registration requirement had been extended for 10 years.

Prior to trial, Kitterman, who ultimately represented himself without a lawyer, argued that when he pled guilty in 2005, the sentencing judge told him that his guilty plea would not extend his registration. Kitterman sought dismissal of the case, contending that the Illinois State Police wrongly extended his registration period and that his obligation had expired in 2006—10 years after his 1996 conviction.

The trial judge denied Kitterman’s motion. The judge also agreed with the prosecution that it was only required to prove that Kitterman was a sex offender, not that he was required to register. That ruling essentially barred Kitterman from challenging the prosecution’s evidence concerning the registration requirement.

In December 2013, Kitterman went to trial in St. Clair County Circuit Court. The prosecution presented a copy of Kitterman’s 1996 conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse as evidence that he was a sex offender. No evidence was presented to demonstrate that Kitterman’s registration requirement extended beyond the initial 10-year period.

Swansea, Illinois police Sgt. Gregory Woolery testified that on October 4, 2012, Kitterman filed a registration form at the police department. Woolery did not verify whether Kitterman was required to register.

Two witnesses who lived at the address that Kitterman listed then testified that they had given Kitterman permission to register and live there, but he had never actually moved in. They testified that Kitterman had lived with his wife, who lived in close proximity to a school—which meant that Kitterman was legally prohibited from residing there.

Kitterman’s aunt, Hazel Kitterman, testified that she drove Kitterman to the address listed on his registration form and dropped him off. She admitted during cross-examination that he had very few personal items and that she left before seeing him actually enter the residence.

On December 17, 2013, the jury convicted Kitterman of providing false information on a sex offender registration form. He was sentenced to two years of probation.

On August 10, 2018, the Illinois Appellate Court reversed the conviction outright. The court held that the prosecution was required to prove that Kitterman had a duty to register—not just that he was a convicted sex offender.

“The State concedes, and we agree, that it failed to present evidence to establish that the defendant’s registration period was either tolled by imprisonment or extended by a subsequent conviction following his initial 10-year registration period that began in January 1996,” the court declared.

In September 2018, Kitterman filed a petition seeking a certificate of innocence. On December 21, 2018, St. Clair County Circuit Court Associate Judge Julie Katz granted the petition, clearing the way for Kitterman to seek compensation from the state of Illinois.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 3/18/2019
State:Illinois
County:St. Clair
Most Serious Crime:Sex Offender Registration
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2012
Convicted:2013
Exonerated:2018
Sentence:Probation
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of reported crime:34
Contributing Factors:
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No