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Sentencing — reasonableness

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit

Criminal

Sentencing — reasonableness

Where the district court imposed a sentence 169 months above the guideline range, without identifying any factors not present in all cases, the sentence must be vacated.

“18 U.S.C. § 2423(b) proscribes interstate travel with intent to engage in sexual conduct with a minor. And the district court did not articulate either at sentencing or in its addendum why Bradley’s journey required more thought than any other person crossing a state border with intent to commit the instant offense. ‘An above-guidelines sentence is more likely to be reasonable if it is based on factors [that are] sufficiently particularized to the individual circumstances of the case rather than factors common to offenders with like crimes.’ United States v. Jackson, 547 F.3d 786, 792-93 (7th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks and citations ommited); see also Miller, 601 F.3d at 739. Here, it is not clear how the individual circumstances of the offense were used to calculate Bradley’s sentence.”

The court found that ‘Bradley enticed the minor victim to have sex, travelled in interstate commerce for that purpose, and completed the sexual act.’ To the extent the district court relied on the commission of the sexual act when calculating its sentence, an element not required for a conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 2423(b), Bradley’s base offense level was increased by two points pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2G1.3(b)(4)(A) for the ‘commission of a sex act.’ So what the court seemed to rely upon for the sentence it imposed was already factored into the properly calculated guidelines range. It is not clear from the sentencing record how any individual circumstances of the commission of the sex act in this case were used in arriving at the chosen sentence.”

Vacated and Remanded.

11-1773 U.S. v. Bradley

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Murphy, J., Per Curiam.

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