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United States v. Fey

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

August 16, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee,
v.
JONATHAN FEY, Defendant, Appellee.

         APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS [Hon. Rya W. Zobel, U.S. District Judge]

          Lisa Aidlin for appellant.

          Kelly Begg Lawrence, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Carmen M. Ortiz, United States Attorney, was on brief, for appellee.

          Before Howard, Chief Judge, Torruella and Barron, Circuit Judges.

          BARRON, Circuit Judge.

         Defendant Jonathan Fey was convicted for his failure to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act ("SORNA"), 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a). He now challenges a number of the special conditions of supervised release that the District Court imposed in connection with the sentence for that conviction. For the reasons set forth below, we vacate the condition restricting Fey's contact with children but affirm the remaining conditions that he challenges.

         I.

         Fey's obligation to register pursuant to SORNA stems from an incident that took place in 1999. In August of that year, Fey -- then 29 years old -- rented a motel room to host a party with his co-workers, one of whom was V.P., a 16-year-old girl. Fey provided V.P. with alcohol and then raped her after she passed out. As a result of that incident, Fey was convicted in Massachusetts state court of (1) rape and (2) indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 years of age. Fey served nine years in prison and was released on June 9, 2010.

         After his release from prison, Fey registered as a sex offender on five separate occasions. After June 22, 2011, however, he failed to continue to update his registration. In July 2011, a warrant was issued for his arrest based on Fey's failure to register. Fey was eventually located and arrested in Ohio in May 2014. At the time of his arrest, Fey was living with his fiancée and her four minor daughters.

         Fey pleaded guilty to the SORNA violation on October 28, 2014, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. At his sentencing, the District Court imposed a period of imprisonment of eighteen months, a five-year period of supervised release, and a number of conditions of supervised release, three of which Fey now challenges on appeal.

         II.

         We assess the validity of a special condition of supervised release by applying 18 U.S.C. § 3583(d) and §5D1.3(b) of the United States Sentencing Guidelines. United States v. Pabon, 819 F.3d 26, 30 (1st Cir. 2016). Those provisions "require that special conditions cause no greater deprivation of liberty than is reasonably necessary to achieve the goals of supervised release, and that the conditions be reasonably related both to these goals and to the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant." Id. (quoting United States v. Del Valle-Cruz, 785 F.3d 48, 58 (1st Cir. 2015)).

         In imposing a special condition, "the district court is 'required to provide a reasoned and case-specific explanation for the conditions it imposes.'" Id. (quoting Del Valle-Cruz, 785 F.3d at 58). Such an explanation both is required by statute, see 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c), and facilitates our review on appeal, Pabon, 819 F.3d at 31. If the sentencing court does not explicitly provide such an explanation, however, we will not automatically vacate the condition. Id. Instead, we will attempt to "infer the court's reasoning from the record." Id. "In all cases, however, the sentence must find 'adequate evidentiary support in the record.'" Id. (quoting Del Valle-Cruz, 785 F.3d at 58).

         A.

         Fey first challenges a condition restricting his right to associate ...


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