My lawyer provided me a copy of the Sentencing Memorandum he filed yesterday with the court, the purpose of which is to persuade my judge to impose a sentence lower than the range calculated by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. In support of this argument, the memorandum references the results of my recent polygraph test, Troy Stabenow’s report on the flawed progression of child pornography guidelines, and the evaluation conducted by my psychotherapist.
The memorandum begins with an acknowledgement of my crime.
[The defendant], who is gay, actively sought sexual images of teenage boys engaging in sex. In his effort to procure that illegal material he downloaded and received numerous digital files containing images of not only teenage boys engaged in sex but images of prepubescent boys and girls being sexually exploited.
In this opening statement, my attorney makes the important distinction between the material I sought and the material I actually acquired. My intent was to download images depicting teenage boys; however, due to the nature of peer-to-peer file sharing, my downloading also resulted in the unintentional acquisition of material depicting prepubescent children. This distinction may seem trivial as both materials are offensive, but the Sentencing Guidelines make it clear that the latter is more egregious. A two-level enhancement is provided in cases where the material involved depicts prepubescent minors under the age of 12.
Next, the memorandum summarizes Stabenow’s report on the flawed progression of child pornography guidelines and argues why a departure from the guidelines makes sense.
Under the guidelines, first-time offenders in possession of child pornography routinely receive harsher sentences than those who sexually abuse children.
Consider next the aggravated case of Joe Champion, as discussed at United States v. Kane…Mr. Champion paid $20 to have a mother hold down her nine year-old child while Mr. Champion raped the young girl twice a week for two years. During these rapes, the child experienced such trauma she passed out. The damage to the child physically and emotionally is unfathomable. Using the Guidelines, applying all enhancements, and granting only Acceptance of Responsibility, the court determined the Guideline range was 151-188 months.
My attorney notes that the calculated sentencing range in my own case is 210 to 240 months.
To establish that I’ve never had sexual contact with a minor, the memorandum cites the results of my recent polygraph test.
[The defendant] subjected himself to a polygraph examination on the question whether he had sexual contact with anyone underage and the test determined that his denial of any such contact were truthful.
Finally, to prove that I represent no future threat to children, the memorandum cites the conclusion drawn by my psychotherapist.
While it is impossible to predict individual behavior with precision, in my professional opinion, [the defendant] is unlikely to access illegal pornography or commit other sexual crimes in the future. He appears to be a [child pornography] only offender—otherwise law abiding, with stable personal relationships and good work habits. I believe that [the defendant] can be safely supervised in the community as soon as possible.
My lawyer concludes “that a sentence of 60 months is more than adequate to serve as a sentence that is ‘sufficient, but not greater than necessary,’ the statutory standard for determining the appropriate sentence in Federal criminal cases.”