CHAPTER TWO - PART A - OFFENSES AGAINST THE PERSON

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

(a) Base Offense Level: 14

(b) Specific Offense Characteristics

(1) If the offense involved the knowing misrepresentation of a participant’s identity to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct, increase by 2 levels.

(2) If a computer or an interactive computer service was used to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct, increase by 2 levels.

Commentary

Statutory Provision: 18 U.S.C. § 2243(b). For additional statutory provision(s), see Appendix A (Statutory Index).

Application Notes:

1. Definitions.—For purposes of this guideline:

    “Computer” has the meaning given that term in 18 U.S.C. § 1030(e)(1).

    “Interactive computer service” has the meaning given that term in section 230(e)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. § 230(f)(2)).

    “Minor” means (A) an individual who had not attained the age of 18; (B) an individual, whether fictitious or not, who a law enforcement officer represented to a participant (i) had not attained the age of 18 years; and (ii) could be provided for the purposes of engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or (C) an undercover law enforcement officer who represented to a participant that the officer had not attained the age of 18 years.

    “Participant” has the meaning given that term in Application Note 1 of the Commentary to §3B1.1 (Aggravating Role).

    “Prohibited sexual conduct” has the meaning given that term in Application Note 1 of the Commentary to §2A3.1 (Criminal Sexual Abuse; Attempt to Commit Criminal Sexual Abuse).

    “Ward” means a person in official detention under the custodial, supervisory, or disciplinary authority of the defendant.

2. Application of Subsection (b)(1).—The enhancement in subsection (b)(1) applies in cases involving the misrepresentation of a participant’s identity to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct. Subsection (b)(1) is intended to apply only to misrepresentations made directly to a minor or to a person who exercises custody, care, or supervisory control of the minor.

    The misrepresentation to which the enhancement in subsection (b)(1) may apply includes misrepresentation of a participant’s name, age, occupation, gender, or status, as long as the misrepresentation was made with the intent to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct. Accordingly, use of a computer screen name, without such intent, would not be a sufficient basis for application of the enhancement.

3. Application of Subsection (b)(2).—Subsection (b)(2) provides an enhancement if a computer or an interactive computer service was used to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct. Subsection (b)(2) is intended to apply only to the use of a computer or an interactive computer service to communicate directly with a minor or with a person who exercises custody, care, or supervisory control of the minor.

4. Inapplicability of §3B1.3.—Do not apply §3B1.3 (Abuse of Position of Trust or Use of Special Skill).

Historical Note: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendment 94); 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); November 1, 2007 (see Appendix C, amendment 701).