CHAPTER TWO - OFFENSE CONDUCT


PART A - OFFENSES AGAINST THE PERSON

3.      CRIMINAL SEXUAL ABUSE AND OFFENSES RELATED TO REGISTRATION AS A SEX OFFENDER

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


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

(a)       Base Offense Level:

(1)       38, if the defendant was convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 2241(c); or

(2)       30, otherwise.

(b)      Specific Offense Characteristics

(1)       If the offense involved conduct described in 18 U.S.C. § 2241(a) or (b), increase by 4 levels.

(2)       If subsection (a)(2) applies and (A) the victim had not attained the age of twelve years, increase by 4 levels; or (B) 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 interactive computer service, increase by 2 levels.

(c)       Cross References

(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), if the resulting offense level is greater than that determined above.

(2)       If the offense involved causing, transporting, permitting, or offering or seeking by notice or advertisement, a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct, apply §2G2.1 (Sexually Exploiting a Minor by Production of Sexually Explicit Visual or Printed Material; Custodian Permitting Minor to Engage in Sexually Explicit Conduct; Advertisement for Minors to Engage in Production), if the resulting offense level is greater than that determined above.

(d)      Special Instruction

(1)       If the offense occurred in the custody or control of a prison or other correctional facility and the victim was a prison official, the offense shall be deemed to have an official victim for purposes of subsection (c)(2) 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.      Definitions.—For purposes of this guideline:

"Abducted", "permanent or life-threatening bodily injury", and "serious bodily injury" have the meaning given those terms in Application Note 1 of 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).

"Custody or control" and "prison official" have the meaning given those terms in Application Note 4 of the Commentary to §3A1.2 (Official Victim).

"Child pornography" has the meaning given that term in 18 U.S.C. § 2256(8).

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

"Distribution" means any act, including possession with intent to distribute, production, transportation, and advertisement, related to the transfer of material involving the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Accordingly, distribution includes posting material involving the sexual exploitation of a minor on a website for public viewing, but does not include the mere solicitation of such material by a defendant.

"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 years; (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" (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.

"Victim" includes an undercover law enforcement officer.

2.      Application of Subsection (b)(1).—

(A)    Definitions.—For purposes of subsection (b)(1), "conduct described in 18 U.S.C. § 2241(a) or (b)" is engaging in, or causing another person to engage in, a sexual act with another person by:  (A) using force against the victim; (B) threatening or placing the victim in fear that any person will be subject to death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping; (C) rendering the victim unconscious; or (D) 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, or in a case in which the ability of the victim to appraise or control conduct was substantially impaired by drugs or alcohol.

(B)    Application in Cases Involving a Conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 2241(c).—If the conduct that forms the basis for a conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 2241(c) is that the defendant engaged in conduct described in 18 U.S.C. § 2241(a) or (b), do not apply subsection (b)(1).

3.      Application of Subsection (b)(3).—

(A)    Care, Custody, or Supervisory Control.—Subsection (b)(3) is to be construed broadly and includes offenses involving a victim less than 18 years of age 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 minor and not simply to the legal status of the defendant-minor relationship.

(B)    Inapplicability of Chapter Three Adjustment.—If the enhancement in subsection (b)(3) applies, do not apply §3B1.3 (Abuse of Position of Trust or Use of Special Skill).

4.     Application of Subsection (b)(6).—

(A)    Misrepresentation of Participant's Identity.—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.

(B)    Use of a Computer or Interactive Computer Service.—Subsection (b)(6)(B) provides an enhancement if a computer or an interactive computer service was used to (i) persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in prohibited sexual conduct; or (ii) 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 interactive computer service 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 interactive computer service to obtain airline tickets for the minor from an airline's Internet site.

5.     Application of Subsection (c)(2).—

(A)    In General.—The cross reference in subsection (c)(2) is to be construed broadly and includes all instances where the offense involved employing, using, persuading, inducing, enticing, coercing, transporting, permitting, or offering or seeking by notice or advertisement, a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct.

(B)    Definition.—For purposes of subsection (c)(2), "sexually explicit conduct" has the meaning given that term in 18 U.S.C. § 2256(2).

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

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); November 1, 2003 (see Appendix C, amendment 661); November 1, 2004 (see Appendix C, amendment 664); November 1, 2007 (see Appendix C, amendment 701); November 1, 2008 (see Appendix C, amendment 725).