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Internet Crime

May 6, 2014

Supreme Court Limits Restitution Payments to Victims of Child Pornography

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea to make it easier for victims of child pornography to collect money from people who view their images online, throwing out a nearly $3.4 million judgment in favor of a woman whose childhood rape has been widely seen on the Internet. The case involved a woman known in court papers by the pseudonym "Amy." Her losses for psychological care, lost income and attorneys' fees have been pegged at nearly $3.4 million, based on the ongoing Internet trade and viewing of images of her being raped by her uncle when she was 8 and 9 years old. The ruling...

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Posted in: Child Pornography, Internet Crime

December 4, 2012

Sentence Procedurally Unreasonable Where Court Failed to Address Variance Argument

In United States v. Begin, 2012 WL 4784362 (3d Cir. Oct. 9, 2012), Defendant Begin appealed from his 240-month sentence for using the Internet and a cellular phone to "attempt to persuade a minor to engage in any sexual activity for which a person can be charged". Begin pled guilty and was sentenced to 240 months' imprisonment, representing a 30-month upward departure from the top of his advisory Sentencing Guidelines range. Begin argued that the sentence was unreasonable because the district court failed to consider his...

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Posted in: Internet Crime

October 11, 2012

Second Circuit Holds that Certain Acts Involving Children are not Relevant Conduct for Sentencing Purposes

In U.S. v. Wernick, No. 10-2974 (2d Cir. August 8, 2012), Defendant was convicted by jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York on five counts of receiving and distributing child pornography, reproducing child pornography for distribution by computer, possessing materials containing images of child pornography, and persuading, inducing, and enticing minors to engage in sexual activity. From chat records on Wernick’s computer, the Government introduced evidence showing that on several...

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Posted in: Internet Crime

October 8, 2012

Third Circuit Holds that Trial Judge Should Have Reviewed Video Evidence in Child Pornography Case Before Allowing Submission of the Tapes to the Jury

In U.S. v. David L. Cunningham, No. 10-4021 (3d Cir. Sept. 18, 2012), Defendant Cunningham was charged with receiving, possessing, and distributing child pornography. After a jury trial, Cunningham was sentenced to 210 months in prison and 20 years of supervised release for the receipt and distribution of child pornography. Before the jury trial, Cunningham attempted to prevent certain, graphic video evidence from being shown to the jury on multiple occasions, but the district court denied each of his requests. At trial, the...

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Posted in: Internet Crime

August 7, 2012

Child Pornography Sentence Vacated

In United States v. Inman, 666 F.3d 1001; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 1394, The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacated the sentence of defendant Brandon Inman, a federal prisoner who pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. Inman appealed from The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky’s judgment imposing lifetime supervised release and certain conditions of that supervised release. The appellate court held that because the district court did not articulate a rationale for the...

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Posted in: Internet Crime