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National Crime Victim Law Institute

State v. Curtis, No. 2 CA-CR 2018-0266, 2019 WL 6336523 (Ariz. Ct. App. Nov. 19, 2019)

February 06, 2020

Defendant was convicted of child molestation, and the court sentenced him to a 17-year term of incarceration. The court did not order restitution at the time of sentencing, instead retaining jurisdiction during the period of defendant’s incarceration at the state’s request, so that future counseling expenses could be ordered if the child-victim of defendant’s criminal conduct chose to seek additional counseling. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court lacked authority to order restitution for counseling expenses incurred after the date of sentencing and that the court erred in retaining jurisdiction over restitution for the entirety of his prison sentence. The court of appeals disagreed, noting that victims have a constitutional right to receive restitution from the convicted person who caused their losses, including future losses. The court of appeals further found that, to effectuate the purpose of Arizona’s restitution provisions of making victims whole, trial courts must be “permitted to exercise jurisdiction beyond sentencing to order restitution for a victim’s future economic loss not calculable at the time of sentencing.” Because child-victims often seek counseling years after the original offense, the court found no error in the trial court retaining jurisdiction over restitution for the duration of defendant’s 17-year sentence. The conviction and sentence was affirmed.