United States v. Zobel, No. 11-3341 (6th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Zobel engaged in sexually explicit online chats with numerous minor females from around the country. Zobel resided in Michigan, and a minor female, J.C., resided in Ohio. Zobel persuaded J.C. to perform oral sex on him. Zobel either knew that J.C. was under 16 years of age or recklessly disregarded her age. J.C. was 13 years old. J.C. informed Zobel that she and B.B., had run away from home. J.C. informed Zobel that B.B. was 14 years old; B.B. was actually 12 years old. Zobel drove to Ohio and took the girls to a parking garage, where they performed sexual acts and he took pictures. He pled guilty under 18 U.S.C. 2422(b) and the district court imposed a sentence of 150 months of imprisonment, a 15 month upward variance from the upper-end of the Guidelines range. The court imposed special conditions of supervised release for life, which prohibit Zobel from having contact with minors absent prior judicial approval, loitering in areas where children tend to congregate, and possessing or viewing pornography or materials that are “sexually explicit or suggestive.” The Sixth Circuit vacated the special condition that bans possessing or accessing “sexually suggestive” materials and affirmed the remainder of the sentence.