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July 2, 2009

Second Circuit blesses future medical expense restitution in child porn sentencing

The Second Circuit has an intriguing little restitution ruling today in US v. Pearson, No. 07-0142 (2d Cir. July 2, 2009) (availalbe here).  Here is how the opinion starts:

Defendant-appellant Abraham Pearson appeals from a judgment entered January 12, 2007, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (McAvoy, J.) convicting him, following a guilty plea to multiple counts of producing, transporting, receiving, and possessing child pornography, and sentencing him, inter alia, to serve fifteen years’ imprisonment and to pay restitution to the child victims of his crime in the amount of $974,902.  Because we conclude that the defendant has not waived his right to appeal the restitution amount, we are called upon to consider whether a restitution order pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2259 may include an amount for estimated future medical expenses, and, if so, whether the amount of restitution ordered, which included an estimate of the victims’ future medical expenses, is reasonable.  We hold that a restitution order pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2259 may provide for estimated future medical expenses, but we find that the district court has not explained adequately its calculation of the restitution amount.  Therefore, we vacate that portion of the judgment and remand for further sentencing proceedings limited to that issue.

Notably, the estimated future medical expenses at issue in this case concerned the need for lifetime counseling due to the the victims’ mental health issues resulting from their underage involvement in sexual activity induced by the defendant.

July 2, 2009 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Good luck on proving any damage. Not that proof is needed in the USA.

WM

Posted by: Dr Nigel Leigh Oldfield | Jul 2, 2009 4:51:22 PM

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