Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Scheels: Enhancement for sadistic conduct

In U.S. v. Scheels, No. 15-15405 (Jan. 31, 2017), the Court rejected the argument that the four level enhancement of U.S.S.G. § 2G2.1(b)(4) for an offense involving material that portrays sadistic or masochistic conduct should not apply when the sadistic or masochistic conduct in the pornography was directed at the defendant, not at the child victim. The Court pointed out that the Guideline covered conduct that “involved” sadistic or masochistic conduct, not that the conduct be directed at the victim. The Court noted past cases involving conduct directed at the victim, but found that these cases merely hold that conduct directed toward a child is sufficient to warrant the enhancement, not that it is necessary. The Court affirmed the 600-month sentence.