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Teague v. People

Court of Appeals of Colorado

June 5, 2017

Adam Michael Teague, Petitioner
v.
The People of the State of Colorado, Respondent The People of the State of Colorado, Petitioner
v.
Bobby Nicky Rogers. Respondent

         Certiorari to the Colorado Court of Appeals Court of Appeals Case Nos. 10CA2358, 11CA1934

          Attorneys for Petitioner Adam Michael Teague: Douglas K. Wilson, Public Defender Andrew C. Heher, Deputy Public Defender Denver, Colorado

          Attorneys for Petitioner/Respondent The People of the State of Colorado: Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General Christine Brady, Senior Assistant Attorney General Denver, Colorado

          Attorneys for Respondent Bobby Nicky Rogers: Douglas K. Wilson, Public Defender Meghan M. Morris, Deputy Public Defender Denver, Colorado

          Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Office of the District Attorney, Eighteenth Judicial District: George H. Brauchler, District Attorney, Eighteenth Judicial District Richard H. Orman, Chief Deputy District Attorney Centennial, Colorado

         EN BANC

          OPINION

          HOOD JUSTICE

          ¶1 We granted certiorari in these cases to determine whether sexual offenders must shoulder the cost of their victims' forensic medical examinations as criminal restitution. While the General Assembly has authorized recovery of "extraordinary direct public . . . investigative costs, " divisions of our court of appeals have disagreed as to whether the cost of a victim's SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) examination is in fact "extraordinary." We now conclude it is.

         ¶2 As both a medical and investigative response to a sexual offense, a SANE exam necessarily performs dual roles. It functions not only as a valuable tool for collecting sexual-assault evidence but also as a patient-centered medical procedure that is sensitive to victims' treatment needs, conducted by medical personnel, and limited to the scope of victims' informed consent. We conclude the hybrid nature of these exams renders them, and their resulting costs, extraordinary, and the state may recover those costs as restitution. We thus affirm the judgment of the court of appeals in People v. Teague, No. 10CA2358 (Colo.App. Nov. 27, 2013) (not published pursuant to C.A.R. 35(f)), and reverse the judgment of the court of appeals in People v. Rogers, 2014 COA 110, P.3d . Accordingly, we also reinstate the district court's restitution award in Rogers.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         ¶3 This opinion consolidates two unrelated sexual assault cases. In El Paso County District Court Case No. 09CR1165, the People alleged that Adam Michael Teague sexually assaulted the victim while she was asleep. During a police interview, Teague denied any sexual contact with the victim, yet the morning following that denial, a SANE exam of the victim revealed possible sexual activity. The People then charged Teague with sexual assault, and he later pled guilty to a misdemeanor offense resulting in probation.

         ¶4 In Arapahoe County District Court Case No. 09CR2049, the People alleged that Bobby Nicky Rogers offered the victim a ride in his car, drove her behind a building, and forced her, at knifepoint, to perform oral sex on him. The victim reported the assault, received a SANE exam, and later identified Rogers as her assailant. He later pled guilty to attempted sexual assault in return for a stipulated four-year term of sex offender intensive supervised probation.

         ¶5 The People in both cases sought to recover the costs of the SANE exams as restitution under sections 18-1.3-601 to -603, C.R.S. (2016). Teague and Rogers objected, and the trial court in each case awarded the People the requested cost of the exam, totaling $702.27 to be paid to the Colorado Springs Police Department in Teague's case and $500.00 to be paid to the Aurora Police Department in Rogers's.

         ¶6 Teague and Rogers appealed, each of them arguing that the expense of a SANE exam is not an "extraordinary direct public . . . investigative cost[]" as described in section 18-1.3-602(3)(b)[1] and recoverable under section 18-1.3-603. In an unpublished opinion, the division hearing Teague's appeal affirmed the restitution award. Teague, slip op. at 8. Beginning from a dictionary definition of "extraordinary, " the division concluded that the cost of a SANE exam satisfies the statute. Id. at 4-6. It reasoned that (1) the exams require medical professionals, not law enforcement personnel, to collect evidence, and (2) other statutes had defined extraordinary costs to include otherwise common expenses. Id. The division in Rogers's case reached the opposite result. Rogers, ΒΆ 18. Operating from ...


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