Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State of Idaho, Bonner County. Hon. Steven C. Verby, District Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gutierrez, Chief Judge
Judgment of conviction and sentence for statutory rape, affirmed; order relinquishing jurisdiction, affirmed; order denying Idaho Criminal Rule 35 motion for reduction of sentence, affirmed.
Scott Anthony Hansen appeals from his judgment of conviction and sentence imposed for one count of statutory rape, the district court's order relinquishing jurisdiction, and the district court's denial of Hansen's Idaho Criminal Rule 35 motion. Specifically, Hansen asserts that the district court violated his right to due process by denying him allocution at sentencing and that the violation of that right amounts to fundamental error. Hansen also argues the district court abused its discretion by imposing an excessive sentence, by relinquishing jurisdiction, and by denying Hansen's Rule 35 motion for a reduction in sentence. Hansen asks this Court to remand the case for resentencing, or alternatively, to reduce his sentence.
At the age of seventeen, Hansen went to live with a church friend because Hansen's father was incarcerated and Hansen's relationship with his step-mother was tenuous. While staying at the friend's house, Hansen began having sexual relationships with two thirteen-year-old victims. Based on conduct with the two victims that occurred after Hansen had reached eighteen years of age, the State charged him with one count of statutory rape and one count of lewd conduct with a minor under the age of sixteen. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Hansen pled guilty to statutory rape, Idaho Code § 18-6101(1).
At the sentencing hearing, the district court stated, "Before I decide what to do in this case, Mr. Hansen, I'll afford you an opportunity to make a statement on your own behalf or to present to me any evidence or information in mitigation in an effort to lessen any punishment I might otherwise impose." Defense counsel responded, "I know that my client does have a statement; however, I have information for the Court, and I have three witnesses to call." After presenting the three witnesses, defense counsel asked for a unified five-year sentence, with two years determinate, and a period of retained jurisdiction. In accordance with the plea deal, the State recommended a ten-year sentence, with two years determinate, and a period of retained jurisdiction. The district court listened to the witness testimony and argument by defense counsel, asked specific questions of Hansen regarding information in the presentence investigation report and testimony from the witnesses, and imposed a unified sentence of eight years, with two years determinate, but retained jurisdiction. Before imposing the sentence, the district court did not ask whether Hansen wished to make a statement.
Before the period of retained jurisdiction was to expire, the district court relinquished jurisdiction without a hearing based on a recommendation from Hansen's case manager at the correctional institution. Hansen appealed and also timely filed a Rule 35 motion for a reduction in sentence. The district court denied Hansen's motion. Hansen amended his notice of appeal to include the denial of the Rule 35 motion. As the primary issue before this Court, Hansen asserts the district court violated his right to due process by denying him allocution at sentencing, amounting to fundamental error and requiring a remand for resentencing. Hansen also argues the district court abused its discretion by imposing an excessive sentence, by relinquishing jurisdiction, and by denying Hansen's Rule 35 motion.
A. Allocution at Sentencing
Preliminarily, the State argues this Court does not have jurisdiction to review whether Hansen's due process rights were violated by the district court because Hansen timely appealed only from the order relinquishing jurisdiction. The State asserts that, based on Idaho Appellate Rule 14(a), such an appeal only allows this Court to review "the sentence contained in the judgment" and does not confer ...