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Langford v. State

Supreme Court of Montana

September 17, 2013

JAMES MARTIN LANGFORD, Petitioner and Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MONTANA, Respondent and Appellee

Submitted on Briefs: June 12, 2013

District Court of the Eleventh Judicial District, In and For the County of Flathead, Cause No. DV-12-610C Honorable Stewart E. Stadler, Presiding Judge

For Appellant: Carolyn Gill; Gill Law Office, PLLC; Kila, Montana

For Appellee: Timothy C. Fox; Montana Attorney General; Pamela P. Collins; Assistant Attorney General; Helena, Montana

Ed Corrigan, Flathead County Attorney; Travis R. Ahner; Deputy County Attorney; Kalispell, Montana

OPINION

Laurie McKinnon, Justice

¶1 James Martin Langford appeals from an order of the Eleventh Judicial District Court, Flathead County, denying his petition requesting relief from his duty to register as a sexual offender, filed pursuant to § 46-23-506(3)(b), MCA. We affirm.

¶2 The sole issue on appeal is whether the District Court abused its discretion in denying Langford's petition.

BACKGROUND

¶3 Langford was convicted in 1992 of incest in violation of § 45-5-507, MCA (1991). He pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse or sexual contact with his daughter, B.S., who was sixteen at the time of the offense. On August 28, 1992, Langford was sentenced to Montana State Prison for twenty years, with ten years suspended. The sentencing court, in addition to standard conditions for sexual offenders, required that Langford register as a sexual offender and complete a sexual offender treatment program at Montana State Prison. Langford was prohibited from having contact with the victim, B.S., unless approved by his probation officer. He was also prohibited from having contact with any children under the age of sixteen years. Langford could not reside or frequent places where children congregated and was prohibited from accessing child pornography. Langford was further subject to polygraph testing. At the time of Langford's conviction, level designation of a sexual offender was not required. Therefore, Langford did not receive a level designation by the sentencing court.

¶4 Many of the arguments Langford currently advances resound with those advanced at his sentencing hearing. The sentencing court observed that Langford argued he should not be incarcerated because of the efforts he had made in developing alcohol treatment programs in the western part of Montana. The sentencing court noted that "[a]pparently the defendant has remained free of intoxicating substances, and has dedicated himself to helping others to recover from such addiction." In response to Langford's arguments, the sentencing court stated:

While the defendant should be commended for his efforts in his recovery, as well as his efforts in helping others, this court is nonetheless mindful that one of the goals of sentencing is punishment. . . .
In imposing the sentence specified below, this court is struck by the fact that the defendant has admitted hundreds of the instances of sexual abuse against his daughter. The fact that the defendant has disclosed the full history of his sexual abuse of his daughter is also commendable. However, this long history of sexual abuse, coupled with physical violence against the daughter, indicates to this court an extensive problem.

ΒΆ5 The psychosexual evaluator, Dr. Michael Scolatti, recommended that Langford could be treated in the community. The sentencing court rejected this recommendation, noting Scolatti's statement, in his report, that "Mr. Langford represents a sex offender whose crime is horrendous. There is no doubt that Mr. Langford has caused significant psychological ...


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