United States v. Spence, No. 10-4184 (4th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
In this appeal, the court considered whether defendant's sentence for possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2252A(a)(5)(B), was properly enhanced, as provided in 18 U.S.C. 2252A(b)(2), based on his prior conviction under South Carolina common law for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN). Defendant argued on appeal that the district court erred in applying the modified categorical approach, and that the district court should have limited its consideration of the prior conviction to a categorical analysis. The court disagreed and held that defendant's ABHAN conviction qualified as a predicate offense under section 2252A(b)(2). Accordingly, the district court properly determined that defendant was subject to the minimum statutory sentence of 10 years' imprisonment under the sexual abuse enhancement, and the court affirmed the district court's judgment.