On December 21, 2012, the Appellate Division of the N.Y.S. Supreme Court in Rochester unanimously rejected a Seneca Falls sex offender’s bid to reduce his risk level designation.
Seneca County District Attorney Barry Porsch argued the case on behalf of the People. Seneca Falls attorney J. Scott Porter represented Robertson on the appeal.
In 2007, the then 18-year-old Keegan Robertson admitted that he had unlawfully entered a house in Seneca Falls on several occasions in the middle of the night and sexually abused a very young female. In 2008, Robertson was convicted in Seneca County Court of burglary in the second degree (class C violent felony) and sexual abuse in the first degree (class D violent felony), and was sentenced to concurrent five-year prison terms.
In 2011, a hearing was held before Acting Seneca County Court Judge W. Patrick Falvey to determine defendant’s risk level under the Sex Offender Registration Act, known as SORA. The County Court determined that Robertson is a level three risk, the highest risk level under SORA.
SORA requires sex offenders to register with the State and provides information to the public about certain sex offenders living in their communities. There are currently 97 registered sex offenders residing in SenecaCounty.
On appeal, defendant argued that the County Court erred in determining that he had at least three victims. The Appellate Court rejected that argument, holding that in determining the number of victims for SORA purposes, the hearing court was not limited to the crime of which defendant was convicted. The Appellate Court also rejected defendant’s argument that his risk level should be reduced based upon his young age at the time of the crimes.
As a result, Robertson, as a level three risk, must register as a sex offender for life and personally verify his address every 90 days with a local law enforcement agency.