A Michigan man received a sentence of 30 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to coercion and enticement of a minor. The man had contact over the Internet with an underage girl in Portland. The relationship eventually included an exchange of pornographic images, according to investigators. The sentence was handed down in U.S. District Court.
The length of the sentence should come as no surprise. Over the years, criminal cases involving child pornography have led to increasingly harsh sentences. It has been politically convenient to target people accused of these crimes. The public is unlikely to speak up to defend the rights of a person accused of an offense involving a child. Politicians are able to appear "tough on crime" without any need to justify the punishment as a rational response to the crime. The result is that a person found in possession of child pornography is in roughly the same possession as a person who commits a violent offense.
The plea deal, in this case, dropped two charges specifically related to child pornography. The related charges of enticement of a minor and coercion were maintained, leaving open the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence. If the defendant completes his prison sentence, he will still face 5 years on supervised release and the stigma of being labeled a sex offender.
Source: Michigan Live, "Sexual 'slave master' gets 30 years in federal prison for coercing teen," by Angie Jackson, 25 June 2015