The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a Louisiana case that involved a man who defaced his state-issued identification badge by removing the designation “sex offender” from it.
A petition to the high court from the Louisiana solicitor general for a writ of certiorari was denied, according to the court’s order list revealed Monday.
The case involved Tazin A. Hill, who pleaded guilty in 2010 to the charge of having sex with an underage girl — she was 14, he was 32. Hill formerly had an address in Duson.
Hill served prison time for the crime and after he was released was required to carry a state-issued ID bearing the words “Sex Offender” printed in orange. Such explicit identification was mandated by a 2006 law.
When Hill reported to the Lafayette Sheriff’s to update the badge in 2016, it was discovered that he had defaced the ID by removing the words “Sex Offender.”
Penalties for defacing the card could have ranged from two to 10 years in prison with a fine of up to $1,000. The case of defacing the card was taken in 2019 before 15th Judicial District Judge Patrick Michot Sr., now retired, who ruled in Hill’s favor that the state should have taken less restrictive ways than those taken on the ID badge to notify law enforcement officers that Hill had previously committed a sex offense.
The initial sex offense charge was not at issue in the case, only the charge of defacing the ID.
Neither the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, which represented Hill, nor state Solicitor Liz Murrill, who sought the high court’s review of the case, could be reached for comment early Monday.
"We are certainly disappointed that the Supreme Court denied the writ and we hope the Legislature will take this up as soon as possible," said Cory Dennis, Attorney General Jeff Landry's spokesman.
The state Legislature took up legislation last session to provide an alternate way to indicate on state ID that the holder had committed a sex offense. The bill did not make it out of committee.
Currently, the state does not put the words "Sex Offender" on licenses or other IDs held by people who have been convicted of sex offenses.
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