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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a stern summary judgment order Friday that overturned, again, the sentencing issued by Chief Judge Glenn Suddaby of the Northern District of New York in a child pornography case, sending the case back to the district court to be heard by a different judge.

The panel of Circuit Judges Amalya Kearse, Dennis Jacobs, and Barrington Parker revisited the sentencing of Joseph Vincent Jenkins, who was convicted by a jury of possession and transportation of child pornography in February 2014.

The first time the appellate court dealt with Jenkins’ case, a majority found the 225 years sentence handed down by Suddaby to have been unreasonable, as Jenkins’ conduct could not justify a sentence nearly at the statutory maximum.

The case was sent back to Suddaby. The district court proceeded to resentence Jenkins to 200 months imprisonment.

Back up on appeal, the panel noted that the initial sentence was rejected because Suddaby had reached a “baseless” conclusion that Jenkins was a high risk to reoffend. The appellate court found nothing in the record indicating the defendant attempted to approach, let alone harm, a child.

On remand, Suddaby called the characterization of Jenkins as a first-time offender an “assumption”—and one he was “unwilling to make.” According to the summary judgment, Suddaby proceeded to cite studies that showed sexual offenses against children are underreported, making the rate of offenses higher than what statistics showed. Suddaby said Jenkins exhibited personality traits that supposedly correlated with sexually dangerous behavior.

“The district court thus deduced that it was likely that Jenkins had committed a prior—undetected—sex offense, that he therefore had a high risk of recidivism, and that a lengthy sentence was justified,” the panel noted.

The panel acknowledged that courts were free to look at studies and statistics when considering the possibility someone may reoffend. Suddaby, however, substituted the record before him to make presumptions about Jenkins’ past behavior.

“If this were right, there would be no more first‐time offenders,” the panel stated.

On remand, the panel used its discretion to have Jenkins’ new resentencing assigned to a different judge. Suddaby “candidly disagreed” with the appellate court’s conclusions in the initial appeal, it was reasonable to assume he would continue to have difficulty in the case.

Jenkins was represented on appeal by federal public defender Lisa Peebles. She said she and her client were pleased with the decision.

“A bit of good news for Mr. Jenkins,” Peebles said.

A spokesman for the office of U.S. Attorney Grant Jaquith did not respond to a request for comment.

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