Criminal Law

Criminal Sexual Abuse - Offenses Against the Person

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November 1, 2005GUIDELINES MANUAL§2A3.4

unduly influenced the minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct. In such a case, some degree of undue influence can be presumed because of the substantial difference in age between the participant and the minor.

4. Application of Subsection (b)(3).—Subsection (b)(3) provides an enhancement if a computer or an interactive computer service was used to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce the minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct. Subsection (b)(3) is intended to apply only to the use of a computer or an interactive computer service to communicate directly with the minor or with a person who exercises custody, care, or supervisory control of the minor.

5. Cross Reference.— Subsection (c)(1) provides a cross reference to §2A3.1 (Criminal Sexual Abuse; Attempt to Commit Criminal Sexual Abuse) if the offense involved criminal sexual abuse or attempt to commit criminal sexual abuse, as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2241 or § 2242. For example, the cross reference to §2A3.1 shall apply if (A) the victim had not attained the age of 12 years (see 18 U.S.C. § 2241(c)); (B) the victim had attained the age of 12 years but not attained the age of 16 years, and was placed in fear of death, serious bodily injury, or kidnaping (see 18 U.S.C. § 2241(a),(c)); or (C) the victim was threatened or placed in fear other than fear of death, serious bodily injury, or kidnaping (see 18 U.S.C. § 2242(1)).

6. Upward Departure Consideration.—There may be cases in which the offense level determined under this guideline substantially understates the seriousness of the offense. In such cases, an upward departure may be warranted. For example, an upward departure may be warranted if the defendant committed the criminal sexual act in furtherance of a commercial scheme such as pandering, transporting persons for the purpose of prostitution, or the production of pornography.

Background: This section applies to offenses involving the criminal sexual abuse of an individual who had not attained the age of 16 years. While this section applies to consensual sexual acts prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. § 2243(a) that would be lawful but for the age of the minor, it also applies to cases, prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. § 2243(a), in which a participant took active measure(s) to unduly influence the minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct and, thus, the voluntariness of the minor’s behavior was compromised. A two-level enhancement is provided in subsection (b)(2) for such cases. It is assumed that at least a four-year age difference exists between the minor and the defendant, as specified in 18 U.S.C. § 2243(a). A two-level enhancement is provided in subsection (b)(1) for a defendant who victimizes a minor under his supervision or care. However, if the minor had not attained the age of 12 years, §2A3.1 (Criminal Sexual Abuse; Attempt to Commit Criminal Sexual Abuse) will apply, regardless of the "consent" of the minor.

Historical Note:: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendment 93); November 1, 1991 (see Appendix C, amendment 392); November 1, 1992 (see Appendix C, amendment 444); November 1, 1995 (see Appendix C, amendment 511); November 1, 2000 (see Appendix C, amendment 592); November 1, 2001 (see Appendix C, amendment 615); November 1, 2004 (see Appendix C, amendment 664).

§2A3.3. Criminal Sexual Abuse of a Ward or Attempt to Commit Such Acts

(a) Base Offense Level: 12

(b) Specific Offense Characteristics

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