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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On Aug. 23, 2004, the appellant, Ruben Omar Castaneda, and his brother, Mario Castaneda, abducted the complainant, E. V. They eventually brought her to a remote field and raped her. The complainant later viewed a photo array and identified appellant as one of her assailants. Appellant was charged with aggravated sexual assault and entered a guilty plea. Written admonishments, signed by appellant, were filed in the trial court. After a pre-sentence investigation, the trial court conducted a hearing on punishment, and sentenced appellant to 30 years’ confinement. HOLDING:Affirmed. Appellant claims that his guilty plea was involuntary because the trial court failed to admonish him about the sex offender registration requirements under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 26.13(a)(5). Appellant bases his contention on the absence of this specific admonishment in the trial court’s written admonishments, or anywhere else in the record. Because appellant waived a record of his plea hearing, it is impossible to determine from the appellate record whether the trial court orally admonished appellant of his obligation, if convicted, to register as a sex offender. The court cannot determine from the record whether the trial court erred. Any error by the trial court was not preserved for appellate review. Even if the record showed the trial court failed to admonish appellant of his obligation to register as a sex offender if convicted, any error would be harmless. The failure of a trial court to admonish a defendant as to potential consequences of having to register as a sex offender does not render a guilty plea involuntary. When reviewing the failure to give an admonition, the reviewing court must reverse unless, considering the record as a whole, the reviewing court has fair assurance that the defendant’s decision to plead guilty would not have changed had the court properly admonished him. Considering the record as a whole, even if the trial court failed to admonish appellant, there is no evidence that appellant’s decision to plead guilty to the aggravated sexual assault charge would have been different if the trial court had admonished him about the sex offender registration requirements. Therefore, the error, if any, was harmless, the court concludes. OPINION: Frost, J.; Anderson, Edelman and Frost, J.J.

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