Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ramirez-Gonzales: enticing a child for indecent purposes is "sexual abuse of a minor" for Guidelines purposes

In U.S. v. Ramirez-Gonzalez, No. 13-13703 (June 23, 2014), the Court rejected the argument that a defendant’s prior Georgia conviction for enticing of a child for indecent purposes did not qualify as “sexual abuse of a minor” for purposes of a 16-level enhancement under USSG § 2L1.2, for a defendant convicted of illegal re-entry into the United States. The Court explained that the Georgia offense fell within the definition of “sexual abuse of a minor” that includes “both physical and nonphysical misuse and maltreatment of a minor for the purposes of sexual gratification.” The Court rejected a substantive reasonableness challenge to the sentence, pointing out that the district court issued a considerable downward variance to negate the potential sentencing disparities that could have resulted from the 16-level enhancement on the facts of the case, and the resulting 52-month sentence was below the Guidelines range of 70-87 months, and well below the 20-year statutory maximum.