from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No.
CR2015-103476-001 The Honorable Michael D. Gordon, Judge
Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By Eric
Knobloch Counsel for Appellee
Maricopa County Public Defender's Office, Phoenix By
Lawrence H. Blieden Counsel for Appellant
Donn Kessler delivered the opinion of the Court, in which
Presiding Judge Kenton D. Jones and Judge Randall M. Howe
Jeronimo Linares ("Linares") appeals the superior
court's order that Linares pay $550 in restitution to the
Maricopa County Attorney's Office ("MCAO")
arising from his child abuse prosecution and conviction.
Linares argues that the court erred in ordering restitution
under Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") sections
13-603(C) (2016) and 13-804 (2016). For the reasons that follow,
we vacate the restitution order.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
A jury found Linares guilty of one count of child abuse, a
class four felony. Linares was then sentenced to three
years' probation and ordered to pay $550 in restitution.
Linares' conviction arose from a preschool employee's
noticing bruising on a child's thighs, stomach, arms, and
neck. The preschool then notified the Mesa police, and the
police determined that the child should undergo a forensic
medical exam at the Mesa Family Advocacy Center. At the
Advocacy Center, Nurse JB met with the police detective and
was informed of the suspected child abuse. JB is an employee
at the Phoenix Children's Hospital and conducts forensic
examinations as a part of her employment. The MCAO contracts
with the Phoenix Children's Hospital to conduct these
evaluations at the Advocacy Center for a standard fee of $550
for use in criminal prosecutions.
JB conducted a medical forensic examination of the victim. As
JB testified, she measured and photographed the bruises and
recorded other evidence of trauma. The examination was then
documented as a report for the State's investigation. As
part of the examination, JB determined that abuse was the
likely cause of the bruises. Importantly, neither JB's
testimony at trial nor her report showed that she treated the
victim for the bruises or recommended any medical treatment.
The superior court ruled Linares was obligated to pay $550 as
restitution because the costs associated with the forensic
examination were "neither purely investigative nor
purely for the purposes of medical evaluation." Linares
timely appealed. We have jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S.
§§ 12-120.21 (2016), 13-4031 (2016), and 13-4033
We review restitution orders for an abuse of discretion.
Statev. Lewis,222 Ariz. 321, 323, ¶
5 (App. 2009) (citations omitted). An abuse of discretion
occurs if the superior court misapplies the law or legal
principles, or makes a decision unsupported by facts or legal
policy. Gorman v. City of Phoenix,152 Ariz. 179,
182 (1987) (citation omitted). However, "we view the
facts in the light most favorable to affirming the
court's findings." In re Andrew A., 203
Ariz. 585, 586, ¶ 5 ...