NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION
ARKANSAS COURT OF APPEALS
May 13, 2009
APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
HONORABLE MARION A.
STATE OF ARKANSAS
LARRY D. VAUGHT, Chief Judge
Appellant Rakim Farrakan was found guilty by the Pulaski County Circuit Court of
failure to register as a sex offender. The trial court sentenced Farrakan to a three-year
suspended sentence and ordered payment of a fine and costs. On appeal, Farrakan argues that
the trial court should have granted his directed-verdict motion on the failure-to-register
charge. We affirm.
In December 1998, Farrakan was convicted of rape. He was sentenced to ten years’
imprisonment and required to register as a sex offender thereafter. Farrakan was released from
prison in April 2007. Upon his release, he registered as a sex offender with the assistance of
Little Rock Police Department Detective Curtis Van Pelt. The sex-offender registration
packet included a form outlining nine conditions, which Farrakan had to comply with and
acknowledge. One of the conditions required Farrakan to update his residency and
employment information if he changed residences, mailing addresses, or employment.
Another condition was that Farrakan verify his residency every six months. One of the
documents in the packet was filled out by Detective Van Pelt, based on information provided
by Farrakan. That document listed Farrakan’s address as: 5929 Valley Drive. Another
document in the packet was filled out by Farrakan, who listed his address as: 5921 Valley
Sometime after Farrakan registered, Detective Van Pelt determined that 5929 Valley
Drive was not an actual address. In his investigation to determine where Farrakan was living,
Detective Van Pelt learned that Patricia Blessing, Farrakan’s mother, lived at 5921 Valley
Drive, Apt. 8. According to the detective, he tried to contact Farrakan using the phone
number listed in the registration packet, but was unsuccessful. However, Detective Van Pelt
was able to contact Blessing, who told him that Farrakan did not live with her and that she
did not know where he was.
Between April 2007 and November 2007, Detective Van Pelt said that Farrakan did
not verify his residence or update any change of address or employment. However, during
that period the detective did receive a call from Farrakan advising that he could no longer live
with his mother and that he was trying to find a new place to live. Detective Van Pelt advised
Farrakan that his mother’s residence was within two thousand feet of a school or day care and
that his living there was a violation of the sex-offender registration rules.
In November 2007, Little Rock Police received a call about a suspicious person near
the downtown library. Officer Shelly Griesemer was dispatched and identified the suspect as
Farrakan. When Officer Griesemer asked Farrakan where he lived, he advised her that he was
homeless. Farrakan was arrested for failing to comply with the sex-offender-registration
At trial, in addition to the testimony from the witnesses discussed above, the State
offered the testimony of Kim Wallace, the manager of the apartments where Blessing lived.
Wallace testified that Blessing was a tenant of the apartments, but Farrakan was not. Wallace
had seen Farrakam on the premises, however.
The defense presented the testimony of Blessing, who at first testified that Farrakan
lived with her for “about two or three weeks” in April 2007 after he was released from prison.
She testified that he stayed with her “most of the time,” but later testified that he stayed most
of the time with his father at a different location. She could not remember visiting with
Detective Van Pelt and telling him that she did not know where Farrakan was.
Farrakan denied that he provided a false address when he registered with Detective Van
Pelt. He said that he told the detective he was living with his mother and provided the address
of 5921 Valley Drive. According to Farrakan, the detective contacted him in July 2007, said
that Farrakan gave a false address at registration, and that he had to re-register. Farrakan
testified that he did re-register and provided an ID card, which was issued on July 10, 2007,
that reflects his mother’s address of 5921 Valley Drive, Apt. 8. Farrakan also testified that he
saw Detective Van Pelt on a few occasions after he re-registered, and Van Pelt never said
there was a problem with the address Farrakan provided. Farrakan said that he had not
violated the verification condition because he re-registered in July 2007 and that six months
had not elapsed since that time.
During trial, Farrakan timely moved for a directed verdict at the close of the State’s
case and again after all of the evidence had been presented, arguing that the State failed to
present sufficient evidence of guilt. The trial court denied both motions. The trial court
subsequently found Farrakan guilty of failure to register as a sex offender. Farrakan appeals his
Farrakan argues that the State failed to present sufficient evidence supporting the
conviction, and as a result, the trial court erred in denying his motion for directed verdict. We
treat a motion for directed verdict as a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence. Adkins v.
State, 371 Ark. 159, 264 S.W.3d 523 (2007). In reviewing a challenge to the sufficiency of
the evidence, we view the evidence in a light most favorable to the State and consider only
the evidence that supports the verdict. Id. We affirm a conviction if substantial evidence exists
to support it. Id. Substantial evidence is that which is of sufficient force and character that it
will, with reasonable certainty, compel a conclusion one way or the other, without resorting
to speculation or conjecture. Id.
Farrakan argues on appeal that the State failed to prove that he violated the
requirements of the Sex Offender Registration Act. Farrakan asserts that there was a lack of
evidence supporting his conviction because the forms that he filled out and the ID that he
provided both reflected his mother’s address: 5921 Valley Drive.
Under the Act, a person who has been adjudicated guilty of a sex offense has a duty
to register as a sex offender using a registration form prepared by the Arkansas Crime
Information Center. Ark. Code Ann. § 12-12-906 (Supp. 2007) and § 12-12-907 (Repl.
2003). The Act further provides that before a sex offender changes his address within the state,
he is required to report the change to the center no later than ten days before the offender
established residency or is temporarily domiciled at the new address. Ark. Code Ann. § 1212-909(b)(1) (Supp. 2007). A change of address is defined as a change of residence, a change
of job location, or any other change that alters where an offender regularly spends a substantial
amount of time. Ark. Code Ann. § 12-12-903(4) (Supp. 2007). A person who fails to register
or who fails to report a change of address or employment shall be guilty of a class C felony.
Ark. Code Ann. § 12-12-904 (Supp. 2007). The sex-offender-registration requirements are
mandatory and failure to comply with those duties is a strict-liability offense. Adkins, supra.
We hold that the State presented substantial evidence that Farrakan did not live at
either 5929 or 5921 Valley Drive, which is in violation of sex-offender-registration
conditions. Farrakan was not on the lease for the apartment at 5921 Valley Drive. In
November 2007, Farrakan told Officer Griesemer that he was homeless. Farrakan’s mother
told Van Pelt that Farrakan did not live with her. She also testified that her son only stayed
with her two to three weeks after he was released from prison and that he stayed at his father’s
house most of the time. Lastly, assuming that all of the registration forms reflected that
Farrakan lived at 5921 Valley Drive and that he did live at that address, Farrakan was still in
violation of his sex-offender-registration conditions because that address was within two
thousand feet of a school or day care. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-14-128 (Supp. 2007).
Because the State proved that Farrakan was required to register and comply with sexoffender-registration requirements, but failed to do so, the trial court did not err in denying
Farrakan’s motion for a directed verdict.
M ARSHALL and B AKER, JJ., agree.