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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In US v. Laraneta (ND Ind., Lozano), a 21-page opinion, Circuit Judge Posner writes:

The defendant pleaded guilty to seven counts of violation of federal child pornography laws, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2251(d)(1), 2252(a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(4), and was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by supervised release for the rest of his life, and also to pay restitution to two women, referred to pseudonymously as Amy and Vicky, in the amount of $3,367,854.00 and $965,827.64; pornographic images of them, as girls, were found in the defendant’s possession. The amount awarded Amy is identical to the amount she has requested, and usually been awarded, in literally hundreds of other criminal cases involving pornographic images of her. But the amount the judge ordered the defendant to pay Vicky subtracts the restitution that she has collected from other defendants. The appeal challenges the length of the defendant’s sentence and the amount of restitution that the judge ordered him to pay. The government defends the sentence but not the restitution award, and also challenges our allowing Amy and Vicky to intervene in this appellate proceeding; and let’s start there. * * *

To summarize: The defendant’s prison sentence is affirmed. The calculation of the crime victims’ losses is affirmed too, except that the judge must determine how much to subtract from Amy’s losses to reflect payments of restitution that she has received in other cases. The order of restitution is vacated and the case remanded for a redetermination of the amount of restitution owed by the defendant; that will require, besides the subtraction we just mentioned, a determination whether the defendant uploaded any of Amy’s or Vicky’s images. The defendant will not be permitted to seek contribution from other defendants convicted of crimes involving pornographic images of the two girls. And Amy and Vicky will not be permitted to intervene in the district court.

AFFIRMED IN PART, VACATED IN PART, AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 14, 2012 01:45 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions