Argued: April 17, 2018
Brennan, Lenehan, Iacopino & Hickey, of Manchester
(Michael J. Iacopino and Jenna M. Bergeron on the brief, and
Mr. Iacopino orally), for the petitioner.
J. MacDonald, attorney general (Dianne Martin, assistant
attorney general, on the brief and orally), for the State.
an evidentiary hearing on the merits, the petitioner, Edward
White, appeals an order of the Superior Court
(Abramson, J.) denying his petition to be relieved
of the obligation to register as a sex offender in New
Hampshire. We affirm.
relevant facts follow. In 1985, the petitioner was convicted
in Massachusetts of two counts of indecent assault and
battery arising from allegations that he sexually assaulted
an eight-year-old female. He served three years in prison and
then was paroled. At the evidentiary hearing, he represented
that, during his parole, he successfully completed a sex
offender treatment program.
January 1994, as a New Hampshire resident, the petitioner
became subject to lifetime registration as a sex offender for
his Massachusetts convictions. See RSA 632-A:11-:19
(1993) (repealed and recodified at RSA 651-B:1-:12 by Laws
1996, 293:2). He was later classified as a Tier III offender.
See Laws 2008, 334:1; see also RSA 651-B:1,
of constitutional limitations, a Tier III offender, like the
petitioner, whose convictions pre-date the establishment of
the sex offender registry, may be subject to the registration
requirement "only if he is promptly given an opportunity
for either a court hearing, or an administrative hearing
subject to judicial review, at which he is permitted to
demonstrate that he no longer poses a risk sufficient to
justify continued registration." Doe v. State of
N.H., 167 N.H. 382, 411-12 (2015); see RSA
651-B:6, V (Supp. 2017). RSA 651-B:6, V sets forth the
process affording such an offender that opportunity.
offender has completed "all the terms and conditions of
the sentence, including any period of supervised
release," he or she may file a petition to be relieved
of the registration requirements. RSA 651-B:6, V(a). The
petition must be accompanied by, among other items, "a
risk assessment prepared by a qualified psychiatrist or
psychologist at the offender's expense, which indicates
that the petitioner is not a danger to the public and no
longer poses a risk sufficient to justify continued
the petition has been filed, the court must hold a hearing at
which the victim may appear personally or through a
representative. RSA 651-B:6, V(b). The court "may grant
the petition if the offender": (1) "has not been
convicted of any subsequent offense requiring
registration"; (2) "has successfully completed any
period of supervised release, probation, or parole"; (3)
"has successfully completed an appropriate sex offender
treatment program"; and (4) "has demonstrated that
he or she is no longer a danger to the public and no longer
poses a risk sufficient to justify continued
registration." RSA 651-B:6, V(c). If the petition is
denied, the offender may not file another petition "for
5 years from the date of denial." Id.
risk assessment in the instant case was completed by Carol J.
Ball, Ph.D. Ball reported that she administered two
assessments to the petitioner: (1) the Millon Clinical
Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III); and (2) the Abel
Assessment of Sexual Interest (the Abel Assessment).
to Ball, "the MCMI-III consists of 175 items."
(Italics omitted.) A person's responses to those items
are then "matched against . . . diagnostic subgroups
that are described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
of Mental Disorders." (Italics omitted.) Ball stated
that the MCMI-III "yields personality profiles that
correspond to standard diagnostic groups, including major
mental illness, character problems, clinical syndromes . . .,
and substance abuse." (Italics omitted.)
reported that the petitioner's MCMI-III profile
"suggests a personality style in which he courts
undeserved blame and criticism and feels that he's being
cheated, misunderstood and unappreciated." Ball stated
that "no distinctive Axis I clinical syndrome"
appeared in the petitioner's "diagnostic
picture" and that "no specific personality
configuration is evident" from the MCMI-III assessment,
but that he "does demonstrate some self-defeating
Personality Traits, and Obsessive Compulsive and Avoidant
to Ball, the Abel Assessment is "used widely to assess a
person's sexual interest patterns." Ball reported
that "[o]ngoing research has demonstrated" the
assessment's "validity, reliability, and ...