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United States v. Letellier

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

June 15, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
DILLAN LETELLIER, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          George A. O'Toole, Jr. United States District Judge.

         The defendant, Dillan Letellier, stands indicted for two counts of coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b), one count of attempted coercion and enticement in violation of the same statute, three counts of interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual activity in violation of 18 U.S.C. §2423(b), and one count of possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B). Under each of the § 2422(b) counts, he faces a possible mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.

         After Letellier was arrested on a criminal complaint charging him with one count of coercion and enticement, a detention hearing was held before then-Magistrate Judge Sorokin on October 22, 2013, at the conclusion of which Letellier was ordered detained pending trial. The magistrate judge thereafter summarized his conclusion in a written detention decision confirming his detention ruling. (See Order of Detention Pending Trial (November 1, 2013) (dkt. no. 20).) The indictment and superseding indictment were returned thereafter.

         A transcript of the original detention hearing is unavailable.[1] However, the magistrate judge's short written decision is worth setting out in full:

I find that credible testimony and information submitted at the hearing establishes by clear and convincing evidence that there is a serious risk that the defendant will endanger the safety of another person or the community in light of the evidence of [the] defendant posing as a 17 year old when he was 28, meeting a 14 year old on a web site for teens, twice traveling from Maine to Massachusetts to have sex with her, and expressing an awareness of the illegality of his actions in the almost 2000 text messages the two exchanged during the three month period. The statutory presumption, [the] defendant's expressed interest in young girls including 12 year olds and his fabrication of a letter further support detention. The 10 year minimum, a spouse overseas and plane tickets to travel support a finding of risk of flight by a preponderance [of the evidence] despite his lifelong ties to Maine. I further incorporate herein my oral ruling of detention made at the conclusion of the hearing.

(Id.)

         The defendant has recently moved to revoke the magistrate judge's detention order. See 18 U.S.C. § 3145(b). Both the defendant and the government briefed the issue, and the Court heard argument on June 8, 2016.

         I. Relevant Facts

         The principal offenses charged arise from the defendant's alleged contacts with two minor girls. According to the government's allegations, during the relevant time periods, Minor A and Minor B were both fourteen years old, and the defendant was twenty-eight or twenty-nine.

         The government alleges the following: The defendant first began communicating with Minor A on a website called Teenspot.com that purports to be directed towards teenagers. The defendant's profile on the website stated that he was seventeen years old. Minor A's profile had her accurate age.

         After initiating contact with Minor A, the defendant began communicating with her via email and text messaging. This communication continued throughout several weeks during the summer of 2013. On two occasions, the defendant drove from his home in Maine to Minor A's home town in Massachusetts, convinced her to leave her house, and had sexual intercourse with her.

         It is further alleged that the defendant concocted a ruse in order to try to bring Minor A to Maine over the Labor Day weekend by drafting a convincing set of fake documents purporting to be from a youth sports organization that invited Minor A to Maine for a free weekend of sports training. However, after reviewing Minor A's email, text messages, and social media accounts, Minor A's parents discovered the nature of her relationship with the defendant and brought that information to the police.

         The government further alleges that the defendant engaged in a similar course of conduct with Minor B, but over the span of only a couple of days rather than several weeks. The charge of child pornography stems from sexually explicit images of children allegedly seized from the defendant's electronic devices pursuant to a search warrant executed on the date of the defendant's arrest.

         During the relevant time periods, the defendant was living with his mother in Saco, Maine. He was then and remains currently married. His wife is a citizen of the Dominican Republic who has gained lawful permanent resident status in the United States and now lives with the defendant's mother. Prior to his arrest, the defendant had worked at a local pizzeria. At the time of the defendant's arrest on the complaint, he was planning to ...


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