United States v Bear

Bear pled guilty to failure to update his sex offender registration. Bear challenged two conditions of his supervised release sentence namely that he undergo sex offender evaluation and treatment and he avoid contact with minors absent adult supervision. The district court overruled his challenges and Bear renewed his challenge on appeal. The panel affirmed in part, vacated in part and remanded. It held that Bears underlying convictions for molesting children were troubling enough to make the conditions reasonably related to his sentence particularly as he molested two children one of whom was younger than 12. The panel vacated the requirement that another adult be present when Bear’s minor children were present as there is a fundamental right to associate with one’s own children and there was no evidence that Bear has committed any sex offenses since his release from prison or displayed a propensity to do so. The panel upheld the evaluation and treatment as there was no evidence that Bear received treatment in the past, but, held that the condition must be construed narrowly to only allow the probation officer to order treatment consistent with the assessment and further limited to mean that the probation officer cannot order intrusive conditions such as in patient treatment or involuntary medication in order to avoid unlawful delegation of sentencing power to the probation officer. The panel finally held the conditions were not in conflict with any sentencing guideline policy statement as there were no pertinent statements and the conditions met the statutory threshold of reasonable relation.  The case was remanded for further proceedings.