LATAH COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE
WILLIAM W. THOMPSON, JR.
Latah County Courthouse
P.O. Box 8068
Moscow, Idaho 83843-0568
Phone: (208) 883-2246
ISB No. 2613
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF THE
STATE OF IDAHO, IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF LATAH
STATE OF IDAHO,
STEVEN JAMES SITLER,
Case No. CR-2005-02027
STATE’S REPLY TO DEFENDANT’S
JANUARY 6, 2016, “RESPONSE”
COMES NOW the State of Idaho, by and through the Latah County Prosecuting Attorney, and respectfully replies to the Defendant’s January 6, 2016, “Response” as follows:
In his said “Response,” the Defendant asserts that the Idaho Department of Correction, Division of Probation and Parole, “is at variance with this Court’s order dated December 23, 2015.” In support, the Defendant refers to an “Affidavit of Mark T. Monson” also dated January 6, 2016, which has been submitted by the Defendant under seal (presumptively to protect against public disclosure of the identity of some of the Defendant’s victims — which protection the State agrees is important but can be accomplished in a manner more consistent with I.C.A.R. 32(i) which contemplates that the Court “must fashion the least restrictive exception from disclosure consistent with privacy interests.”). Appended to Mr. Monson’s affidavit is a copy of a December 30, 2015, letter from Sr. Probation Officer Chris Jensen, and Renee Behrens, Section Supervisor, on behalf of District Manager Scott Douglass. A redacted (so as to protect the names of victims and/or their family consistent with I.C.A.R 32(i)) copy of that letter is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
The relevant portion of the Court’s December 23, 2015, “Consolidation of Terms and Conditions of Probation Upon Reconsideration” is paragraph 19 regarding under what circumstances the Defendant may have contact with any of his victims, or with victims’ families. That condition prohibits “contact of any nature whatsoever with his (the Defendant’s) victims, or with the immediate families of those victims, unless that victim or that victim’s family desires to have contact . . . and that desire has been made known in writing to the Idaho Department of Probation and Parole or this Court.”
As the Court is aware from the State’s “Objection to Modification of Probation Condition” filed on the morning of December 30, 2015, the Department of Correction initially took the position that there should be an affirmative requirement that victims who perhaps are not currently aware of their victimization (by virtue of young age at the time of being victimized, unconscious to the act by virtue of being asleep, etc.) must know that they were victims in order to provide truly “informed consent” to contact. The State recognizes that the Court declined to adopt this requirement during the course of the off-the-record telephonic conference on December 23, 2015, that led to the subsequent order.
As the file reflects, the State has now formally withdrawn its objection to the Court’s most recent order after further consultation by and with the Idaho Department of Correction and IDOC has, in fact, acceded to the Court’s order as evidenced by the attached December 30, 2015, letter which advises “you (Mr. Sitler) will be allowed contact with victim or victim families that provide documentation in writing that they wish to have contact with you.” That letter then acknowledges the written consents that have already been provided (either directly to IDOC, or via the Defendant’s sealed submissions lodged with the Court last month) and states “(t)herefore you may resume contact with these specifically named individuals.” The letter further acknowledges that there is no pre-requisite that a victim who otherwise may not know of their victimization (by virtue of youth, level of consciousness, etc.) must be told they are a victim, and affirmatively confirms to the Defendant that”(t)hese individuals do not need to be told they are victims. . .”. Consistent with the December 23 order, all the department is requiring is that there be a written confirmation of a victim’s desire for contact.
As further evidence of the Department’s intent to comply with the Court’s order, the State respectfully refers the Court to the attached affidavit of Renee Behrens, Section Supervisor.
Wherefore, the State respectfully submits that there is no basis for any further orders as suggested by the Defendant. The State does, however, submit that it would be appropriate to amend the wording of condition 19 to require that all prospective consents to contact be provided both to the Court and Probation and Parole (or at least require that all consents be provided to Probation and Parole if the Court doesn’t wish to be burdened with this documentation and any on-going need for formal action to redact/seal each such consent to protect the identity of the victims) so Probation and Parole has complete documentation.
Dated this 8th day of January, 2016.
William W. Thompson, Jr.