FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
MAINE [Hon. George Z. Singal, U.S. District Judge]
Clifford B. Strike and Strike, Gonzales & Butler Bailey
on brief for appellant.
Richard W. Murphy, Acting United States Attorney, and
Benjamin M. Block, Assistant United States Attorney, on brief
Torruella, Selya and Lynch, Circuit Judges.
sentencing appeal, we confront an issue of first impression
in this circuit: defendant-appellant Douglas Blodgett asks us
to declare unconstitutional, as violative of the Due Process
Clause of the Fifth Amendment, the mandatory minimum sentence
for accessing child pornography applicable to any individual
who has a prior state conviction for abusive sexual conduct
involving a minor. See 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(b)(2).
In the bargain, he also contends that this mandatory minimum
constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth
Amendment. Concluding that the defendant's asseverational
array lacks force, we affirm the challenged sentence.
briefly rehearse the background and travel of the case.
Because this appeal follows the defendant's guilty plea,
we draw the facts from the undisputed portions of the
presentence investigation report and the sentencing
transcript. See United States v.
King, 741 F.3d 305, 306 (1st Cir. 2014); United
States v. Dietz, 950 F.2d 50, 51 (1st Cir. 1991).
November 20, 1996, the defendant, then age twenty-six, was
arrested for molesting a thirteen-year-old girl. This
incident led to his 1997 conviction, in a Maine state court,
on charges of unlawful sexual contact. See Me. Rev.
Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A, § 255 (1996), repealed by
2001 Me. Laws 562. Thereafter, the defendant had a clean
slate for nearly two decades. In early 2016, though, an
investigation by the Department of Homeland Security revealed
that he had downloaded and viewed sexual depictions of
April 27, 2016, a federal grand jury sitting in the District
of Maine charged the defendant with one count of accessing
child pornography with the intent to view it. See 18
U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B). Roughly four months later, the
defendant pleaded guilty to the charge.
disposition hearing, the district court determined that the
defendant's total offense level and criminal history
yielded a guideline sentencing range of 57 to 71 months. The
court held, however, that a ten-year mandatory minimum
sentence required by statute trumped the guideline range,
see 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(b)(2), and sentenced the
defendant to ten years' imprisonment. As relevant here,
the statutory provision relied on by the court prescribes a
ten-year minimum and a twenty-year maximum sentence if an
individual has accessed child pornography with intent to view
it and has a prior state conviction pertaining to
"aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, or abusive
sexual conduct involving a minor." Id.
After the imposition of sentence, this timely appeal ensued.
appeal, the defendant assigns error in two respects. We
consider these ...