2001 Federal Sentencing Guideline Manual


§2A3.1. Criminal Sexual Abuse; Attempt to Commit Criminal Sexual Abuse

(a) Base Offense Level: 27

(b) Specific Offense Characteristics

(1) If the offense was committed by the means set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 2241(a) or (b), increase by 4 levels.

(2)(A) If the victim had not attained the age of twelve years, increase by 4 levels; or (B) if the victim had attained the age of twelve years but had not attained the age of sixteen years, increase by 2 levels.

(3) If the victim was (A) in the custody, care, or supervisory control of the defendant; or (B) a person held in the custody of a correctional facility, increase by 2 levels.

(4)(A) If the victim sustained permanent or life-threatening bodily injury, increase by 4 levels; (B) if the victim sustained serious bodily injury, increase by 2 levels; or (C) if the degree of injury is between that specified in subdivisions (A) and (B), increase by 3 levels.

(5) If the victim was abducted, increase by 4 levels.

(6) If, to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct, or if, to facilitate transportation or travel, by a minor or a participant, to engage in prohibited sexual conduct, the offense involved (A) the knowing misrepresentation of a participant’s identity; or (B) the use of a computer or an Internet-access device, increase by 2 levels.

(c) Cross Reference

(1) If a victim was killed under circumstances that would constitute murder under 18 U.S.C. § 1111 had such killing taken place within the territorial or maritime jurisdiction of the United States, apply §2A1.1 (First Degree Murder).

(d) Special Instruction

(1) If the offense occurred in a correctional facility and the victim was a corrections employee, the offense shall be deemed to have an official victim for purposes of subsection (a) of §3A1.2 (Official Victim).

Commentary

Statutory Provisions: 18 U.S.C. §§ 2241, 2242. For additional statutory provision(s), see Appendix A (Statutory Index).

Application Notes:

1. For purposes of this guideline—

"Minor" means an individual who 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).

"Permanent or life-threatening bodily injury," "serious bodily injury," and "abducted" are defined in the Commentary to §1B1.1 (Application Instructions). However, for purposes of this guideline,"serious bodily injury" means conduct other than criminal sexual abuse, which already is taken into account in the base offense level under subsection (a).

"Prohibited sexual conduct" (A) means any sexual activity for which a person can be charged with a criminal offense; (B) includes the production of child pornography; and (C) does not include trafficking in, or possession of, child pornography. "Child pornography" has the meaning given that term in 18 U.S.C. § 2256(8).

"The means set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 2241(a) or (b)" are: by using force against the victim; by threatening or placing the victim in fear that any person will be subject to death, serious bodily injury, or kidnaping; by rendering the victim unconscious; or by administering by force or threat of force, or without the knowledge or permission of the victim, a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance and thereby substantially impairing the ability of the victim to appraise or control conduct. This provision would apply, for example, if any dangerous weapon was used or brandished.

2. Subsection (b)(3), as it pertains to a victim in the custody, care, or supervisory control of the defendant, is intended to have broad application and is to be applied whenever the victim is entrusted to the defendant, whether temporarily or permanently. For example, teachers, day care providers, baby-sitters, or other temporary caretakers are among those who would be subject to this enhancement. In determining whether to apply this enhancement, the court should look to the actual relationship that existed between the defendant and the victim and not simply to the legal status of the defendant-victim relationship.

3. If the adjustment in subsection (b)(3) applies, do not apply §3B1.3 (Abuse of Position of Trust or Use of Special Skill).

4.The enhancement in subsection (b)(6)(A) applies in cases involving the misrepresentation of a participant’s identity to (A) persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct; or (B) facilitate transportation or travel, by a minor or a participant, to engage in prohibited sexual conduct. Subsection (b)(6)(A) 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. Accordingly, the enhancement in subsection (b)(6)(A) would not apply to a misrepresentation made by a participant to an airline representative in the course of making travel arrangements for the minor.

The misrepresentation to which the enhancement in subsection (b)(6)(A) 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 (A) persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct; or (B) facilitate transportation or travel, by a minor or a participant, 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.

Subsection (b)(6)(B) provides an enhancement if a computer or an Internet-access device was used to (A) persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct; or (B) facilitate transportation or travel, by a minor or a participant, to engage in prohibited sexual conduct. Subsection (b)(6)(B) is intended to apply only to the use of a computer or an Internet-access device to communicate directly with a minor or with a person who exercises custody, care, or supervisory control of the minor. Accordingly, the enhancement would not apply to the use of a computer or an Internet-access device to obtain airline tickets for the minor from an airline’s Internet site.

5.If a victim was sexually abused by more than one participant, an upward departure may be warranted. See §5K2.8 (Extreme Conduct).

Background: Sexual offenses addressed in this section are crimes of violence. Because of their dangerousness, attempts are treated the same as completed acts of criminal sexual abuse. The maximum term of imprisonment authorized by statute is life imprisonment. The base offense level represents sexual abuse as set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 2242. An enhancement is provided for use of force; threat of death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping; or certain other means as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2241. This includes any use or threatened use of a dangerous weapon.

An enhancement is provided when the victim is less than sixteen years of age. An additional enhancement is provided where the victim is less than twelve years of age. Any criminal sexual abuse with a child less than twelve years of age, regardless of "consent," is governed by §2A3.1 (Criminal Sexual Abuse).

An enhancement for a custodial relationship between defendant and victim is also provided. Whether the custodial relationship is temporary or permanent, the defendant in such a case is a person the victim trusts or to whom the victim is entrusted. This represents the potential for greater and prolonged psychological damage. Also, an enhancement is provided where the victim was an inmate of, or a person employed in, a correctional facility. Finally, enhancements are provided for permanent, life-threatening, or serious bodily injury and abduction.

Historical Note: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendments 91 and 92); November 1, 1991 (see Appendix C, amendment 392); November 1, 1992 (see Appendix C, amendment 444); November 1, 1993 (see Appendix C, amendment 477); November 1, 1995 (see Appendix C, amendment 511); November 1, 1997 (see Appendix C, amendment 545); November 1, 2000 (see Appendix C, amendments 592 and 601); November 1, 2001 (see Appendix C, amendment 615).