Friday, September 04, 2015

Motion to Dismiss Petition for Revocation of Supervised Release Should Have Been Granted

US v. LeCompte, 10th Cir. No. 14-2200 (NM): The Tenth Circuit agreed that Mr. LeCompte could bring an "as applied" challenge to his revocation of supervised release and reversed for further proceedings. Mr. LeCompte is a registered sex offender who was on supervised release for a SORNA violation. One condition prohibits Mr. LeCompte from being in the presence of minors without the presence of another adult approved by the Probation Officer. A probation officer visited Mr.LeCompte's home and found him sitting outside with his girlfriend, other adults (none of the adults was approved by the PO) and the girlfriend's three-year-old granddaughter. Over Mr. LeCompte's strenuous objections, the district court revoked Mr. LeCompte's supervised release. The 10th first rejected the government's argument that Mr. LeCompte could not challenge the condition as applied to his conduct, making it clear that such challenges are appropriate even when the defendant did not appeal the condition when first imposed. The Court then found that the district court's findings in support of revocation were legally insufficient. It emphasized that "surface comparisons" with the underlying sex offense are insufficient; rather, an individualized assessment is necessary. The district court also failed to discuss relevant aspects of the prior offense and Mr. LeCompte's history and characteristics, namely that the prior sex offense was many years ago and he has not been involved in any inappropriate relationships with minors since then. The district court also did not explain how applying the prohibition to the facts before it was not greater than necessary for deterrence, protection of the public, and rehabilitation.