United States v. Free, No. 19-3207 (8th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for sexual abuse of a minor under the age of twelve years old (count I); sexual abuse of a minor between the ages of twelve and sixteen years old (count III); and abusive sexual contact (count V).
The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by excluding evidence against the victim where any evidence of the victim's drug use would not have tended to prove the alleged motives of retaliation and avoiding punishment. The court also held that the evidence was sufficient to support defendant's conviction on count I. The court further held that the district court gave due consideration to defense counsel's well-thought-out, well-presented argument for a lesser-than-life sentence, and did not abuse its discretion in determining that defendant's age did not warrant a downward variance from the advisory Guidelines sentence.