Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, May 18, 2015

Keelan: Restitution for Mental Health Treatment Expenses

In U.S. v. Keelan, No. 13-11878 (May 13, 2015), the Court affirmed an order of restitution for mental health treatment expenses imposed on a high school teacher convicted of unlawful enticement of a minor in sexual activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b). The Court rejected the argument that the § 2422(b) violation was not a “crime of violence” for which restitution could be ordered. In cases involving sex crimes against minors “there is always a substantial risk that physical force will be used to ensure a child’s compliance with an adult’s sexual demands.” The Court noted that the defendant failed to raise below the argument that there was no “bodily injury,” and therefore found no “plain error.” The Court rejected the argument that mental health treatment expenses were not subject to restitution, noting the statute’s reference to “psychological care.” Finally, the Court rejected the argument that the defendant’s conduct did not cause the mental health treatment, agreeing with the district court that there was “no doubt” they were.