United States v. Robinson, No. 12-2015 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Convicted of possessing child pornography, defendant was sentenced to 108 months in prison. The judge increased his base offense level by 15 levels, including a two-level enhancement for actually distributing the pornography, although the separate offense of distributing child pornography was not charged, U.S.S.G. 2G2.2(b)(3)(F). This adjustment raised the sentencing range from 108 to 135 months to 135 to 168 months. The statutory maximum for the offense of possession was 120 months at the time of the offense, 18 U.S.C. 2252(a)(4)(B) (2011), so the judge could not sentence him within the higher range. The sentence of 108 months was the floor of the lower range. The defendant admitted to having downloaded quantities of child pornography, but he denied knowing that the files he downloaded could be viewed by other users of the programs. The Seventh Circuit vacated the sentence, noting that the defendant was 61 years old and in poor health. The government failed to prove that the defendant knowingly made files of child pornography available to other users of LimeWire or FrostWire. Someone who knew little about computers and had never seen a file-sharing program before might not realize that files are automatically available to others.