Former DA Convicted of Civil Rights Violations Will Have to Register as Sex Offender
A former Alabama district attorney will have to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison because his conviction for civil rights violations stems from fondling allegations that he failed to contest, according to a federal appeals court.
Former Franklin County DA John Pilati will be released on March 24, the Birmingham News reports. A mandate issued by the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday requires Pilati to register as a sex offender, the story says.
Pilati was sentenced to 42 months in prison for civil rights violations based on allegations that he fondled men as they provided urine for drug tests. The alleged victims were between the ages of 17 and 20, according to a presentence investigation report. Pilati has “vehemently denied the accusations,” according to the Birmingham News.
Pilati had argued he shouldn’t have to register as a sex offender because he was found guilty of civil rights violations, rather than a sex offense or a sex offense against a minor. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in Atlanta disagreed in a December opinion (PDF).
Pilati hadn’t raised the issue of whether he was convicted of a sex offense in the district court appeal of a magistrate’s sex offender order, so Pilati had waived the argument, the appeals court said. Nor had Pilati objected to the presentence report finding that one of the victims was a minor, and so he is deemed to have admitted the allegation, according to the opinion.