United States v. Dowell, No. 13-4576 (4th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Defendant appealed his sentence after pleading guilty to twelve counts of producing child pornography and one count of transporting child pornography. The court held that the district court erred in its Guidelines calculation when it incorrectly applied an upward adjustment for a "vulnerable victim" under U.S.S.G. 3A1.1(b)(1) based upon one of the victims' age-related cognitive development and psychological vulnerability, factors that already were incorporated into an upward adjustment for the young age of defendant's victims under U.S.S.G. 2G2.1(b)(1) and 2G2.2(b)(2). The court found, however, that the error was harmless and rejected defendant's remaining claims. Accordingly, the court affirmed the sentence.