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United States v. Sealed Juvenile

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

March 13, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
SEALED JUVENILE, Defendant - Appellant

As Revised, March 16, 2015.

Page 748

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

Before BENAVIDES, SOUTHWICK, and COSTA, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 749

FORTUNATO P. BENAVIDES, Circuit Judge:

This appeal concerns a 15-year-old juvenile who has been sentenced to detention and a subsequent period of juvenile delinquent supervision in connection with a conviction for abusive sexual contact with a minor who had not attained the age of 12 years. In this appeal, we review several special conditions imposed for juvenile delinquent supervision, a matter of first impression.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The Juvenile is a 15-year-old male who suffers from Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Bipolar Disorder, Type I, Mixed, with suicidal ideations and hallucinations. On November 3, 2013, while living on a military base with his family, the Juvenile had sexual contact with a four-year-old child. Because the offense occurred on a military base, he was charged in a sealed juvenile information with an act of juvenile delinquency by engaging or attempting to engage in a sexual act with a person who had not attained the age of 12 years, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 2241(c), 5032 (2012). He pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to the lesser included offense of abusive sexual contact with a minor who had not attained the age of 12 years, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2244(a)(5) (2012) and § 5032.

A probation officer issued a predispositional report that described the offense conduct. The Juvenile admitted that he lied on top of the victim, that both had their pants around their ankles, that he placed his mouth on the victim's vagina, that he planned to put his penis into her vagina but changed his mind just before his sister entered the room, and that his erect penis was above the victim's vagina

Page 750

while he was lying on top of her. The victim stated that the Juvenile had rubbed her with his hand in " the middle" and indicated toward her vaginal area. The victim's five-year-old brother, who was present during the offense, indicated that the Juvenile " bit and licked the victim on her butt."

After describing behavioral problems that included physical outbursts of anger and getting into fights with others, the report said the following about other sexually inappropriate behavior besides the offense conduct:

In the last year, the juvenile's problems transformed from being anger oriented to being sexually oriented. His parents indicated that he became obsessed with sex, and looking up sexual material on the internet. They found notes to and from various girls at school in which the juvenile discusses having sexual intercourse with the girls. He also asked his sister to engage in sexual activity with him, and aggressively held her down.

The report used the 2013 Sentencing Guidelines and calculated the advisory guidelines range as if the Juvenile was an adult. The report recommended a base offense level of 30 under U.S.S.G. § § 2A3.1, 2A3.4, because the offense involved a criminal sexual act. Four levels were added under U.S.S.G. § 2A3.1(b)(2) because the victim was under the age of 12 years. With a three-level reduction for acceptance of responsibility under U.S.S.G. § 3E1.1(a), the total offense level was 31. Because he had no prior criminal history, his criminal history score was I. With an offense level of 31 and a criminal history category of I, the advisory guidelines range was 108 to 135 months of imprisonment if the Defendant had been an adult. However, under 18 U.S.C. § 5037(c)(1) (2012) and the plea agreement, the maximum sentence that he could receive was detention until he reached 21 years of age and juvenile delinquent supervision until he reached 21 years of age. Defense counsel did not object to the report, but did file a dispositional memorandum concerning sentencing, which included as attachments, among other things, a copy of a report of a local mental health treatment facility explaining the Juvenile's history, diagnosis, and prognosis, and a letter from the Juvenile's parents.

The district court adjudicated the Juvenile as a juvenile delinquent and sentenced him to 18 months in the Garza County Juvenile Treatment Center in Post, Texas (where he is currently detained), and to a term of juvenile delinquent supervision " until his 21st birthday, in a non-secure facility such as AMIKids in Sandoval, New Mexico." [1] In addition to the mandatory and standard conditions of supervision, the district court imposed numerous special conditions of supervision.[2] Specific conditions at issue in this appeal are ones restricting the Juvenile's contact with children, choice of occupation, ability to loiter near certain places, and use of computers and the Internet. The Juvenile timely appealed.

II. APPLICABLE LAW

This Court has recognized that district courts have broad discretion in imposing conditions of supervised release, subject to

Page 751

statutory requirements.[3] Under 18 U.S.C. § 3563, a court may provide discretionary conditions " to the extent that such conditions are reasonably related to the factors set forth in section 3553(a)(1) and (a)(2) and to the extent that such conditions involve only such deprivations of liberty or property as are reasonably necessary for the purposes indicated in section 3553(a)(2)." 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b) (2012) (emphasis added). Under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1), a sentencing court is to consider " the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant." 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1) (2012). Under § 3553(a)(2), the court is to consider:

(2) the need for the sentence imposed--
(A) to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense;
(B) to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct;
(C) to protect the public from further crimes of the ...

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