United States v. Preston

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Sentencing
  • Date Filed: 02-05-2013
  • Case #: 11-10511
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Farris for the Court; Circuit Judge Bybee; Dissent by Circuit Judge Noonan
  • Full Text Opinion

A lifetime term of supervised release for the offense of abusive sexual contact was proper when the sentencing judge provided ample reasons for imposing the term and accounted for the defendant’s age and mental capacity.

Preston was charged with aggravated sexual abuse of a minor, but as part of a plea bargain, he pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of abusive sexual contact. Preston was sentenced to 50 months imprisonment and lifetime supervised release, with conditions requiring plethysmograph testing, forbidding the possession of material deemed “sexually stimulating, sexually oriented, or deemed to be inappropriate by the probation officer,” and prohibiting contact with children. Preston appealed his conviction, contesting the lifetime term of supervised release and the conditions of the release. The Court concluded that Preston’s confession was properly admitted, despite Preston’s diminished mental capacity; that Preston validly waived his rights to a jury trial and indictment; and that the district court did not commit plain error in accepting Smith’s counsel’s waiver of his right to confrontation. The Court determined that the district court did not procedurally err in imposing the lifetime term of supervised release, and the Court did not consider the term unreasonable. The sentencing judge gave ample reasons for imposing the term and accounted for Smith’s age and mental capacity in selecting the term. The Court, however, remanded for further proceedings concerning the conditions of supervised release. It determined that the sentencing judge failed to make a finding that the required plethysmograph testing was necessary, and stated that the pornography restriction and prohibition on contact with minors was vague and should be adjusted for certainty and definiteness. AFFIRMED in part, REMANDED for resentencing.

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