RECOMMENDATION 76

Part: 
Three
Chapter: 
3

Pre-sentence reports concerning individuals found guilty of violations of child pornography or related laws should be based on sources of information in addition to the offender himself or herself.

Probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists have extensive contact with defendants and their counsel in the course of preparing presentence reports. Defendants and their counsel often provide court personnel with most of the information used in compiling these reports.

Information supplied by the defendant about himself or herself and the offense may be inaccurate or incomplete and it usually overlooks the victim's perspective. Sources of information other than the defendant must be tapped to give the sentencing judge the most accurate information. Such information should include but need not be limited to: investigative reports, victims' statements and interviews, interviews of witnesses and persons familiar with the offender's habits, a report of any guardian ad litem representing the victim; examination of physical evidence such as pornography created or possessed by the offender; a review of diaries, audiotapes, or videotapes created by the offender; and the offender's criminal, correctional, mental health, educational, military, and work records.[667]

Child sexual abusers often move to another city or state after public exposure or when they come under suspicion. The sentencing judge then should obtain records from jurisdictions in which an offender has previously resided. Victims, prosecutors and investigators should provide information at their disposal to those conducting presentence evaluations.

Notes

  1. On January 20, 1984 a federal grand jury in the northern district of New York handed down a twelve-count indictment against a child pornographer. He eventually pled guilty to five counts of mailing child pornography and on May 4, 1984, was sentenced to 10-years in prison on each of the five counts, to run concurrently, and ordered to undergo three months of psychiatric examination at a federal facility, due to his suicidal tendencies. The judge in this case later reduced the sentence to two years in prison followed by five years probation as a result of the psychiatric findings that were conducted by the United States Bureau of Prisons. Washington, D.C., Hearing, Vol. I, Daniel Mihalko, pp. 156-57.