from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Texas
DAVIS, HIGGINSON, and WILLETT, Circuit Judges.
STEPHEN A. HIGGINSON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Brandon Leal pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of
child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
2252A(a)(1). The district court sentenced Leal to 240 months
imprisonment and ordered Leal to pay $58, 415 in restitution
to "Andy," a victim depicted in Leal's
materials. On appeal, Leal seeks to vacate the order of
restitution, contending that it was imposed in violation of
the proximate cause requirements described in Paroline v.
United States, 572 U.S. 434 (2014). We affirm the
stipulated that in December 2014, he traveled from Canada
into the United States with electronic devices containing
hundreds of images and dozens of videos of child pornography.
Some depicted sadistic acts involving children, and some
depicted infants or toddlers.
relevant part, Leal's plea agreement stated that the
district court could impose a sentence including
"restitution to victims or to the community, which is
mandatory under the law." The agreement noted, "The
defendant fully understands that the actual sentence imposed
(so long as it is within the statutory maximum) is solely in
the discretion of the Court." Finally, the agreement
contained an appeal waiver stating in full:
The defendant waives his rights, conferred by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1291 and 18 U.S.C. § 3742, to appeal his
conviction, sentence, fine, order of restitution, and
forfeiture order in amount to be determined by the district
court. He also waives his right to contest his conviction,
sentence, fine, order of restitution and forfeiture order in
any collateral proceeding, including proceedings under 28
U.S.C. § 2241 and 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The defendant,
however, reserves the rights (a) to challenge the
voluntariness of his plea of guilty or this waiver, and (b)
to bring a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.
Pre-Sentence Report initially found restitution inapplicable.
After the PSR was completed, Andy submitted his restitution
request and the government sought to amend the PSR
accordingly. Two weeks before sentencing, the Probation
Office filed an addendum to the PSR recommending that Leal be
ordered to pay $58, 415, the full amount sought by Andy.
addendum attached the twenty-one-page restitution request
submitted by Andy's attorney. The letter explained that
beginning when Andy was seven and continuing until Andy was
twelve, Andy was sexually abused by an older man (not Leal)
who made and circulated "graphic video recordings of his
sexual abuse of Andy" in which Andy was "clearly
recognizable." Relying on reports from a forensic
psychologist and an economist, Andy estimated that he had
suffered losses of $267, 038 in future psychological
counseling costs and $1, 854, 925 in future lost income,
totaling $2, 121, 963 in general losses "stem[ming] from
the actions of defendant Leal as well as other
criminals." Andy acknowledged that Leal did not appear
to be "directly connected to the initial production of
his images," but had harmed Andy by possessing
Andy's images. Andy argued that Leal should be
responsible for $25, 000 of Andy's general losses. Andy
also sought to recover $33, 415 for the forensic
psychologist's and economist's fees.
was sentenced on August 15, 2016, at a consolidated
sentencing hearing that combined the instant case with a
related case, in which Leal had pleaded guilty to possessing
child pornography and to being a felon in possession of a
firearm. At sentencing, Leal confirmed that he had reviewed
the PSR and the addendum and raised no objections. The
district court adopted the factual contents of the PSR and
addendum and ordered Leal to pay Andy $58, 415 in
August 30, 2016, Leal filed a pro se notice of appeal from
"the judgment and sentences imposed by this court on
August 15th, 2016." Leal's notice of appeal was
timely. However, it was filed only in the related case, not
in the present case, and hence arguably failed to
"designate the judgment, order, or part thereof being
appealed" as required by Rule 3(c)(1)(B). Fed. R. App.
P. 3. We find that this omission is not a jurisdictional
defect. "Courts will liberally construe the requirements
of Rule 3." Smith v. Barry, 502 U.S. 244, 248
(1992). "[A] mistake in designating a judgment appealed
from should not bar an appeal as long as the intent to appeal
a specific judgment can be fairly inferred and the appellee
is not prejudiced or misled by the mistake." United
States v. Knowles, 29 F.3d 947, 949 (5th Cir. 1994)
(quotation omitted). Here, Leal's intent to appeal the
sentence in the present case can be fairly inferred from his
plural reference to the "sentences imposed . . . on
August 15th, 2016," especially because pro se notices of
appeal are liberally construed. See Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Edwards v.
Joyner, 566 F.2d 960, 961 n.3 (5th Cir. 1978). Further,
the government does not argue that it has been prejudiced or
misled. We are satisfied that we have jurisdiction. See,
e.g., United States v. Servellon, 534 Fed.Appx.
252, 252 (5th Cir. 2013); United States v.
Donjuan-Gonzalez, 268 Fed.Appx. 276, 276-77 (5th Cir.
18 U.S.C. § 2259 requires district courts to order
restitution for certain child pornography offenses, including
Leal's offense of transporting child pornography. The
Supreme Court's decision reversing our court in
Paroline provides that restitution is "proper
under § 2259 only to the extent the defendant's
offense proximately caused a victim's losses." 572
U.S. at 448. Leal argues that the district court failed to
adequately analyze whether Leal proximately ...