The Second Department, reversing (modifying) County Court determine the proof submitted by the People did not support the application for an upward departure in this SORA risk assessment proceeding:
… County Court erred in granting the People’s application for an upward departure. The People failed to prove the facts in support of their proffered aggravating factor, including that the defendant engaged in unprotected sexual conduct with the victim, by clear and convincing evidence … . People v Paterno, 2022 NY Slip Op 01470, Second Dept 3-9-22
Practice Point: Any application by the People for an upward departure in a SORA risk assessment proceeding must be supported by clear and convincing evidence. Here the People’s upward departure application alleged defendant had unprotected sex with the 15-year-old victim. The appellate court determined the allegation was not supported by clear and convincing evidence.