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Transient convicted of failing to register as a sex offender

After a three-day jury trial, a 52-year-old man was convicted of three counts of failing to register as a sex offender.

Sentencing for Clifton Robinson is scheduled March 21 in Merced County Superior Court.

Robinson, a transient whose last known address was Sacramento, is required to register annually as a sex offender because of his 1985 convictions for child molestation, said Deputy District Attorney Matthew Martinez, who prosecuted the case.

Robinson was arrested Nov. 3 by Merced police following a traffic stop.

Martinez, the deputy district attorney assigned to cases of people failing to register, said Robinson had not registered in California since 1990.

A seven-man, five-woman jury convicted Robinson on Friday in a trial presided over by Superior Court Judge Ronald W. Hansen.

"This defendant demonstrates a total lack of responsibility to the community," Martinez said. "The people of this state have determined that the public has a right to know the whereabouts of dangerous, predatory felons."

Martinez said he appreciated the jury understanding the gravity of these offenses and coming to a fair and just verdict.

Robinson moved back and forth between Merced and Sacramento and also had contacts in Florida. He said registration cases involving transients are "pretty prevalent" because these individuals "sort of wander around and disappear," Martinez said.

Because Robinson has a prior violent felony, he faces up to seven years, four months in prison. Robinson also will not be eligible for release until he has served at least 80 percent of his sentence.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209 385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.

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