United States v. Ray, No. 11-3383 (10th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
After Defendant Austin Alan Ray was arrested for downloading child pornography using peer-to-peer file-sharing software, he pled guilty in federal district court to receiving material involving the sexual exploitation of a minor. This appeal presented the question whether the district court could properly apply a two-level sentencing enhancement for the distribution of child pornography under USSG section 2G2.2(b)(3)(F) when the record indicated only that Defendant used the peer-to-peer file-sharing software and that its sharing function was enabled, but not that Defendant actually knew his software was capable of sharing files. Upon review, the Tenth Circuit held that the guideline was properly applied. The Court also rejected Defendant’s claims that the district court unconstitutionally made findings for sentencing enhancements under a preponderance-of-the-evidence standard, that the court erred procedurally at sentencing, and that the sentence was substantively unreasonable. Accordingly, the Court affirmed Defendant’s sentence.
The court issued a Revised version of this opinion on February 1, 2013.