from the Circuit Court of Andrew County The Honorable Michael
J. Ordnung, Judge
Division One: Cynthia L. Martin, P.J., and Victor C. Howard
and Alok Ahuja, JJ.
2003, Danny Dixon pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct in the
third degree, a class C misdemeanor. He was given a suspended
imposition of sentence, and successfully completed his
two-year probationary period. As required by Missouri law,
Dixon registered as a sex offender beginning in 2003. In
2018, he filed a petition in the Circuit Court of Andrew
County to have his name removed from the sex offender
registry. The circuit court granted Dixon's petition, and
ordered that he be removed from the registry. The Missouri
State Highway Patrol appeals. It argues that the circuit
court erred in granting Dixon's removal petition because
Dixon is a "tier III" offender subject to a
lifetime registration obligation under §§
589.400.4(3) and 589.401.3. We conclude that Dixon is a
"tier I" offender, and that he was accordingly
eligible for removal from the sex offender registry after ten
years. See § 589.401.4(1). Because the Highway
Patrol does not otherwise dispute that Dixon met the
conditions for removal from the registry, we affirm the
circuit court's judgment.
2003, Dixon told a fifteen-year-old girl over the telephone
that she sounded and looked sexy, and asked her about her
sexual activity. Dixon was forty-seven years old at the time.
He was charged in the Circuit Court of Andrew County with
sexual misconduct in the third degree, a class C misdemeanor,
in violation of § 566.095, RSMo 2000. Dixon pleaded
guilty in November 2003. The circuit court suspended
imposition of sentence and placed Dixon on probation for 2
years. He was successfully discharged from probation in
November 2005. Due to his conviction,  Dixon was
required to register as a sexual offender. He has
continuously registered since his guilty plea in 2003.
August 28, 2018, Dixon filed a petition in the Circuit Court
of Andrew County pursuant to § 589.401, seeking to have
his name removed from the sex offender registry. After
holding an evidentiary hearing, the circuit court granted
Dixon's petition. The court concluded that Dixon's
conviction made him a "tier I" offender, and that
he was accordingly entitled to petition for removal from the
registry because more than ten years had elapsed since he was
first required to register. The court noted that "[t]he
Prosecuting Attorney of Andrew County . . . has no objection
to the relief requested by [Dixon]; and the victim in this
matter, having previously been contacted by the prosecuting
attorney, has no objection to [Dixon]'s name being
removed from the sexual offender registry." The circuit
court's judgment found that Dixon: had successfully
completed his probation for the underlying offense; had fully
complied with his registration obligations; was "not a
current or potential threat to public safety"; and had
"in all respects complied with the requirements of
Section 589.401" to be removed from the sex offender
registry. Accordingly, the court ordered that Dixon's
name be removed from the sex offender registry, and declared
"that he has no further requirements to register
Highway Patrol appeals.
appellate court will reverse a judgment of a trial court when
it is not supported by substantial evidence, is against the
weight of the evidence, or erroneously declares or applies
the law." Petrovick v. State, 537 S.W.3d 388,
390 (Mo. App. W.D. 2018) (citations and internal quotation
of statutory interpretation are reviewed de novo."
Id. (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).
"Any time a court is called upon to apply a statute, the
primary obligation is to ascertain the intent of the
legislature from the language used, to give effect to that
intent if possible, and to consider the words in their plain
and ordinary meaning." State ex rel. Hillman v.
Beger, 566 S.W.3d 600, 604–05 (Mo. 2019) (citation
and internal quotation marks omitted). "This Court
interprets statutes in a way that is not hypertechnical but
instead is reasonable and logical and gives meaning to the
statute and the legislature's intent as reflected in the
plain language of the statute at issue." IBM Corp.
v. Dir. of Revenue, 491 S.W.3d 535, 538 (Mo. 2016)
Highway Patrol argues that the circuit court erred in
removing Dixon's name from the sex offender registry,
because the offense of which he was convicted rendered him a
"tier III" offender, meaning that he was required
to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
this appeal requires that we review the history of the
offense of which Dixon was convicted, and the history of the
sex offender registration statutes.
pleaded guilty in 2003 to an offense which was then called
"sexual misconduct in the third degree." At the
time of his guilty plea, § 566.095, RSMo 2000, provided:
1. A person commits the crime of sexual misconduct in the
third degree if he solicits or requests another person to
engage in sexual conduct under circumstances in which he
knows that his requests or ...