United States v. Riley, No. 09-6453 (6th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Police seized defendant's computer and found that he had exchanged child pornography with 49 people, more than 1,000 photos and videos containing child pornography, some involving children as young as four years, and a message showing that he had requested that a woman's three-year-old daughter perform oral sex on him. He pled guilty to distributing child pornography (18 U.S.C. 2252(a)(2)) and moved for a departure under section 5K of the Sentencing Guidelines and a variance under 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) based on his extraordinary contribution to his country as a soldier. In 10 years that included three combat tours as an improvised explosive device inspector in Iraq and Afghanistan, he sustained repeated concussions from IEDs and a fractured back, necessitating surgery. A psychologist testified that he had sustained organic brain injury, which, combined with pain medications, led to his interest in child pornography. The district court denied the motion, sentencing him to the most lenient sentence recommended by the Sentencing Guidelines, 151 months. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, finding that the sentence was not substantively unreasonable.