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United States v. Gaffney-Kessell

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

November 18, 2014

UNITED STATES, Appellee,
v.
PATRICK GAFFNEY-KESSELL, Defendant, Appellant

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MAINE. Hon. John A. Woodcock, Jr., U.S. District Judge.

Charles Allan Hope, with whom Cunha & Holcomb, P.C. were on brief, for appellant.

Margaret D. McGaughey, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Thomas E. Delahanty II, United States Attorney, was on brief, for appellee.

Before Lynch, Chief Judge, Stahl and Kayatta, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 98

STAHL, Circuit Judge.

Defendant-Appellant Patrick Gaffney-Kessell pleaded guilty to travel with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(b). Although he lodged no objection to the presentence report or during the sentencing hearing, he now appeals his sentence, challenging the application of an enhancement for having engaged in " a pattern of activity involving prohibited sexual conduct," U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 4B1.5(b)(1), as well as the overall reasonableness of his sentence. We affirm.

I. Facts & Background

As this appeal follows the entry of a guilty plea, we draw the facts from the uncontested presentence report (PSR) and the transcript of the sentencing hearing. United States v. Nguyen, 618 F.3d 72, 73 (1st Cir. 2010).

In October 2010, Gaffney-Kessell, then twenty-six years old, began communicating with Jane Doe,[1] then thirteen, on Facebook. Over the ensuing months, Gaffney-Kessell and Doe exchanged numerous e-mails and text messages, spoke on the phone, and engaged in instant messaging. Many of these conversations were sexual in nature. Although Doe had advised Gaffney-Kessell of her age, he nonetheless sent her lewd photographs of himself, including pictures of him masturbating, and described sexual activities he wished to engage in with her.

On January 12, 2011, Gaffney-Kessell traveled approximately ten hours from Maine to Pennsylvania, where Doe lived. He rented a motel room near Doe's home and spent four or five days there. When Doe refused to meet him at the motel, Gaffney-Kessell drove to her home and lingered in front of the house. Frightened, Doe told her parents about Gaffney-Kessell and, from the record before us, it appears that she asked him to leave.

In some manner again unclear from the record, the police became involved in the matter. Gaffney-Kessell admitted to police during an interview that his motive for the trip to Pennsylvania was to have sex with Doe, and that he would have done so had she agreed to meet him at the motel. Further investigation uncovered evidence that Gaffney-Kessell had engaged in online and/or sexual relationships with at least two other underage females. Allegations that he had had sexual intercourse with one of those females, then fifteen years old, on at least two occasions formed the basis of a Maine state charge against him for sexual abuse of a minor.

A federal information subsequently was filed in this case, charging Gaffney-Kessell with travel with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ยง 2423(b). Represented ...


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