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Judge's Light Sentence For Teen Convicted Of Kiddie Porn Thrown Out By Higher Court - Opposing Views

Judge's Light Sentence For Teen Convicted Of Kiddie Porn Thrown Out By Higher Court

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A lone federal judge is battling against mandatory minimum sentences for teenagers who collect kiddie porn.

Brooklyn Federal Judge Jack Weinstein wrote in an 11-page brief last week that imposed harsh, mandatory sentences on kids is like “physically sacrificing them to ancient gods for the supposed benefit of society.”

Weinstein’s statements stemmed from a 2011 case of a teen, identified only as “C.R.,” but whose name was reported in the media as Corey Reingold of Queens, N.Y.

Reingold pled guilty of downloading large quantities of child pornography onto his computer, as well as making the graphic images available to other internet users via the now-defunct file-sharing systems Limewire and GigaTribe.

While Reingold was 19 at the time of the crimes for which he was convicted, he was 15 when he first started using his computer to access explicit sexual images of children, according to Weinstein's brief.

The boy was sentenced to five years in prison. But Weinstein ruled that sentence unconstitutional — a violation of Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment. Weinstein instead sentenced the boy to 30 months.

The FBI discovered about 100 videos and more than 200 still images on Rengold’s computer of explicit and often violent sexual scenes involving underage boys and girls, which the teen allegedly downloaded using the online alias “Boysuck 0414.”

The Second Circuit Court unanimously shot down Weinstein’s ruling, ordering the long-serving judge to increase Reingold’s sentence.

Weinstein (pictured) has long had a well-earned reputation for judicial independence and unorthodox methods. The 92-year-old judge, who was appointed to the federal bench in 1967 by President Lyndon Jonson, has a record of ruling agains the gun and tobacco industries and for taking field trips to places affected by his rulings, such as public housing project that he believed was blighted by the War on Drugs.

When he first received Reingold’s case, Weinstein toured a federal prison where sex offenders undergo psychologival treatment designed to rehabilitate them.

In Reingold’s case, Weinstein favored psychological treatment for the admitted offender, who claimed that he never intended to distribute child porn. The uploading happened automatically when he used the file-sharing sites.

Weinstein heard in court that Reingold’s mother was a drug-addicted stripper whom he rarely saw and that Reingold’s stepmother, who cared for him, was divorced from Reingold’s father when he caught her in bed with another man.

Reingold subsequently developed drug and alcohol problems as well as his fixation on child porn.

In throwing out Weinstein’s decision, the higher court said that the judge ignored other factors, such as Reingold’s confession that he molested his younger sister when she was between the ages of 8 and 11.

Sources: New York Daily News, Courthouse News, Think Progress, Wikipedia, National Review Online, U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York

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