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United States v. Price, No. 12-4010

Decided: March 29, 2013

Price pled guilty to accessing the Internet with the intent to view child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A(a)(5)(B) and (b)(2). The district court found that Price’s offense involved more than 600 images of child pornography, and thus imposed a five-level sentencing enhancement pursuant to 2G2.2(b)(7)(D). On appeal, Price challenged the five-level enhancement, arguing that duplicate images should not be counted when applying 2G2.2(b)(7). In the alternative, Price argued that sending the same image multiple times via email does not constitute duplication. The Court of Appeals rejected Price’s arguments and affirmed his sentence.

First, the Court of Appeals held that any image should be counted when applying the 2G2.2(b)(7) enhancement without regard to its originality so long as the image depicts child pornography and is relevant to the underlying conviction.

Next, the Court of Appeals noted that reproducing pornographic images with the click of a send button as opposed to the use of a photocopier still has the effect of increasing the number of images of child pornography, and thus held that where the same image is emailed multiple times, every image sent to every person should be counted when applying the number of images enhancement.

In summary, the Court of Appeals affirmed Price’s sentence, finding that the district court correctly counted each image in each email separately without regard to the uniqueness of the image when it applied the five-level enhancement under 2G2.2(b)(7)(D).

Full Opinion

– Kassandra Moore