My most recent victory in federal court involved a case where my client was charged with possession of child pornography. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Probation Department were recommending that my client receive a sentence of 36 months in federal prison to be followed by a lifetime period of supervised release. Judge David O. Carter of the Central District of California in Santa Ana sentenced my client to 18 months in a residential re-entry center or halfway house and five years of supervised release.
The very first time I met my client I advised him to attend counseling with a therapist who specializes in sex therapy as well as sex addicts anonymous meetings. My client was also evaluated by a clinical psychologist who wrote a report stating that he is not a pedophile or a predator. His therapist wrote a letter to the court stating that my client was not a danger to the community and that he had accepted responsibility for his actions. My client wrote a beautiful letter to the court explaining the events that led to his conduct and clearly articulated his remorse for his actions. He told the judge that he now realizes how his conduct impacted the children who were depicted in the images he downloaded and expressed how that fact is devastating to him.
My client is a 62-year old man who had gone through a nasty divorce that caused him to lose everything that he had spent his life working for. He lost his job, his wife of 28 years, his home and was living in a van when he began to look at pornography as a way to cope with his pain. He did not set out to look for child pornography but came across these images in his search for adult pornography. The FBI executed the search warrant two years before he was charged. During that time, my client’s health declined dramatically.
Sentencing in federal cases begins the first day that I meet my clients. The fact that my client attended therapy and SA meetings for 2 years prior to sentencing had a huge impact on the Judge’s decision at sentencing. Also critical was the fact that my client very clearly and thoughtfully articulated his remorse for his conduct and demonstrated that he understood the impact of his actions. The court was able to see that my client was not going to re-offend and that he is not a danger to the community.
Judge Carter directly supervises individuals who are sentenced in his court. He holds progress reviews every 90 days to see how defendants are doing during their term of supervision. He indicated during sentencing that if my client does well while on supervision and in the halfway house, he will consider allowing him to leave the halfway house after only one year. This is a huge victory on a case where this man was facing three years in federal prison.
If you are a loved one have been charged with or are under investigation for possession of child pornography, please contact the Law Office of Diane C. Bass immediately.