State v. Barnett, Jr., 369 N.C. 298 (2016)

Reversed in Part
  • Facts: Defendant dated the victim. For the last two months of their relationship, he lived with her and her 3 minor children. After the relationship ended, when defendant was retrieving his belongings from the apartment, he assaulted the victim. Afterwards he repeatedly threatened her life by text and letter and sent one letter to one of the victim’s daughters. Defendant was convicted of habitual misdemeanor assault, attempted second-degree rape, assault on a female, and deterring appearance by a witness. His sentence included a “Convicted Sex Offender Permanent No Contact Order” and named the victim and her three minor children. The defendant appealed the provision that included the minor children. The Court of Appeals vacated the order as to the children after determining the court lacked statutory authority to prohibit contact with the victim’s children because the statute focused on contact between the defendant and victim. The State sought discretionary review.
  • The purpose of the statute and legislature’s intent protects the particular victim of the sex offense and not third persons. However, the trial court has authority to enter a no contact prohibition with the victim’s children or others when the prohibition is supported by appropriate findings that indicate  contact with other persons would constitute indirect contact with the victim or engagement in any of the prohibited actions in G.S. 15A-1340.50(f)(1) through (f)(7). The inclusion of the children to prohibit indirect contact with the victim does not extend the protection of the entire no contact order to the children.


Criminal Cases with Application to Child Welfare
No Contact Order
Statutory Authority
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