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July 16, 2009

Long sentence (including big upward variance) for failure to register

This local story from New York, which is headlined "Sex offender gets 5½ years for failing to register," reports on the longest federal sentence I have seen for the relatively new crime of failing to register.  As the story details, the sentence given in this case appears to be a huge upward variance from the applicable guidelines (which seems based on some unconvicted conduct):

A Fort Covington man will serve 51/2 years in federal prison for failing to register as a sex offender in New York. Patrick P. Romeo, 68, of 81 Fort Covington St., was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Syracuse before Judge Glenn T. Suddaby for violating the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Romeo admitted in February in federal court that he failed to register as a sex offender in New York. He admitted not registering as a sex offender after moving from California to Fort Covington in May 2008, federal court records show.  He was convicted in 2001 of molesting a 15-year-old girl in California in early 1996.

Assistant Federal Public Defender Melissa A. Tuohey, representing Romeo, said Tuesday she argued her client should receive from eight to 14 months in prison. She cited the dismissal of sex abuse charges against him in St. Lawrence County and the fact that Franklin County never indicted him on multiple sexual abuse charges.

The presentence report, done by the federal Probation Department, recommended that Romeo serve 27 to 33 months in prison.... Judge Suddaby sentenced him to 66 months in prison.

Romeo was accused of molesting a 7-year-old boy in August 2008 at Massena Town Beach in the town of Louisville.  The case was dismissed last month in St. Lawrence County Court because of a lack of evidence.  He also was charged in Franklin County on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of second-degree sexual abuse and three counts each of child endangerment and forcible touching.  He was charged in September with molesting three young boys, ages 7, 10 and 12, at a Fort Covington home.

Though the long sentence in this case was nominally imposed for failing to fill out required forms, this press report suggests that the failure to register offense was just a formal means to punish the defendant for other alleged crimes.

July 16, 2009 at 08:19 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Of course this is all constitutional! Truth, justice the American way! No wonder other countries don't want to follow our laws! Because we sure as hell don't practice what we preach!

Posted by: Honest Opinion | Jul 16, 2009 9:05:44 AM

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