A Pensacola Criminal Defense Attorney walked out of the Federal District Courtroom in Pensacola on Good Friday relieved, joyful for his client and with a sense that a reasonable, federal sentence had been imposed in his client’s case by a judge that meted out appropriate punishment but also took into consideration the nature and circumstances of the offense and the personal characteristics of the defendant in a merciful fashion.
My client, Mark, (not his real name) was sent an email with a link to 23 different websites that advertised young love, teen material, etc. He clicked on the link and subsequently made the poor choice to subscribe to several different websites which contained “soft core” child pornography or erotica in the winter of ’06 (these sites did not involve sexual interaction with adults); one of sites, the most sexually graphic of the sites that did involve children interacting with adults, was being monitored by the Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement Division. One of the sites involved “hard core” child pornography, the others softer types of porn, however much of which was still illegal. Mark did not download the hard core child porn images but had subscribed to the site. A year passed before the Agents executed a search warrant on Mark’s apartment.
When Mark came to see me he was scared and very angry with himself for having looked at the these materials. We immediately scheduled him to be evaluated by an expert in sexual offenses, he then took a polygraph to show he had never had any involvement with children, the answers to the questions posed to Mark showed he showed no deception and had never had any inappropriate contact with a child. We then got him into long term therapy with Brett Turner, Psy.Ed., who is an expert in treatment of sexual offenders in Pensacola. More than a year passed before Mark was arrested and charged with one count of possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2252. The sentencing guideline applicable to this statute is USSG 2G2.2. The government alleged to have found in excess of 600 illegal images stored on his computer. This increased his guidelines sentence five offense levels.