United States v. Michael, No. 19-1885 (8th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's 96-month sentence imposed, on remand, based on defendant's probation violation after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. The court has previously held that, on revocation of probation, a sentence that falls within the original Sentencing Guidelines range for the underlying crime of conviction is presumptively reasonable. The court explained that, where, like here, the district court imposed a sentence below the original Guidelines range, it is nearly inconceivable that the district court abused its discretion in not varying downward still further. In this case, the district court, aware of defendant's Asperger's diagnosis and its tendency to impair individuals' insight and cause fixation problems, decided to give greater weight to the risk to the public arising from defendant's fascination with violence against children and his persistent attraction to child pornography. The court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion and defendant's sentence was not substantively unreasonable.