Vermont v. VilleneuveAnnotate this Case
In 2001, defendant Jonathan Villeneuve pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. He appealed the denial of his motion to seal the record of his conviction on the ground that the underlying conduct took place prior to his attaining the age of twenty-one. The State conceded that the trial court erred in denying the application based on its conclusion that a conviction for a listed crime as defined in 13 V.S.A. 5301 was not eligible for sealing under the language of 33 V.S.A. 5119(g)(2). Based on the plain language of section 5119(g)(2), the Supreme Court held that the trial court’s denial was in error. In considering a petition to seal, the trial court must “determine that defendant committed the crime before turning twenty-one years old, that two years have elapsed since defendant’s final discharge, and that defendant has been rehabilitated.” Because the trial court failed to make findings as to whether defendant has been rehabilitated, the Court reversed and remanded for consideration of that issue.