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State v. Toth

Supreme Court of Oregon, En Banc

June 13, 2019

STATE OF OREGON, Petitioner on Review,
v.
STEVEN JASON TOTH Respondent on Review.

          Argued and submitted January 17, 2019.

          On review from the Court of Appeals (CC C141378CR) CA A158281, A158282). [*]

          Greg Rios, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, argued the cause and fled the brief for petitioner on review. Also on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

          Raymond Tindell, Portland, argued the case and fled the brief for the respondent on review.

         The decision of the Court of Appeals is affirmed in part and reversed in part. The judgment of the circuit court is reversed, and the case is remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings.

         [365 Or. 170] Case Summary: Defendant was sentenced to pay a $150, 000 compensatory fine, ultimately payable to the victim, who defendant had sexually abused and compelled into prostitution when she was thirteen years old. Defendant objected on the grounds that economic damages to the victim has not been shown. The trial court found that the victim's medical expenses were sufficient to establish that she had suffered economic damages. The Court of Appeals reversed without remanding, concluding that the compensatory fine had not been properly imposed, and that there was no evidence of economic damages. Held: (1) Medical expenses from the treatment of a minor are generally suffered as economic damages by the parent, not the minor; (2) because the victim was in the legal custody of the Department of Human Services when she was treated, she did not suffer the medical expenses herself; (3) defendant's guilty plea had not removed the necessity of showing economic damages before designating a fine as compensatory; (4) there were other sentencing options available, and therefore a remand to the trial court was appropriate.

         The decision of the Court of Appeals is affirmed in part and reversed in part. The judgment of the circuit court is reversed, and the case is remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings.

         [365 Or. 171] BALMER, J.

         This case concerns whether the trial court erred in sentencing defendant to pay a $150, 000 compensatory fine. We considered many of the issues presented by this case in State v. Moreno-Hernandez, 365 Or. 175, __P.3d __ (2019), a case involving defendant's codefendant. As in Moreno-Hernandez, we conclude that the trial court erred, and remand for resentencing.

         Defendant was the manager of a strip club in the Beaverton area. Moreno-Hernandez brought S, a thirteen-year-old girl, to defendant's strip club, where defendant and Moreno-Hernandez agreed that S would work at the club. While working at the strip club, S engaged in prostitution and the two men split the proceeds. In addition, defendant had sex with S.

         Ultimately, S was brought into the legal custody of the Department of Human Services (DHS). DHS sent S to Mingus Mountain, a treatment facility that specializes in the treatment of girls who are emotionally or behavior-ally at risk, including girls who, like S, have been sexually exploited. While there, S disclosed to counselors that she had been sexually abused by defendant and Moreno-Hernandez.

         Defendant pleaded guilty to three counts relating to S: second-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual abuse, and compelling prostitution. He also pleaded guilty to a separate promoting prostitution charge that did not involve S. At sentencing, the trial court indicated that it was interested in imposing a compensatory fine and inquired into whether that was an available option in this case. The prosecutor stated that S's treatment at Mingus Mountain had resulted in economic damages. Defendant objected to the imposition of a compensatory fine, arguing, among other things, that there was no evidence that S had suffered economic damages.

         On the single compelling prostitution conviction, the trial court imposed a $200 fine as well as a $150, 000 compensatory fine ultimately payable to S. The trial court also imposed an overall sentence of 180 consecutive months in prison.

         [365 Or. 172] Defendant appealed, assigning error to the imposition of the compensatory fine. The Court of Appeals, relying on its decision in State v. Moreno-Hernandez,290 Or.App. 468, 415 P.3d 1088 (2018), held that "it was plain error to award a compensatory fine in addition to a punitive fine." State v. Toth,290 Or.App. 925, 927, 417 P.3d 479 (2018). The Court of Appeals further reasoned that because "'[t]he record contains no evidence that [the victim] ever incurred any objectively verifiable economic obligation for the treatment and, therefore, ever suffered ...


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