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United States v. Poulin

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

March 6, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
MATTHEW POULIN, Defendant-Appellant

Argued November 12, 2013.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. No. 4:11-cr-40116-MMM-JAG -- Michael M. Mihm, Judge.

For UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee: Joseph H. Hartzler, Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Springfield, IL.

For MATTHEW R. POULIN, Defendant - Appellant: Daniel T. Hansmeier, Attorney, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Springfield, IL; George F. Taseff, Attorney, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Peoria, IL.

Before ROVNER and SYKES, Circuit Judges, and DURKIN, District Judge.[*]

OPINION

Page 797

Durkin, District Judge.

Law enforcement officers used file-sharing software to discover Matthew Poulin had been downloading and transmitting child pornography in the basement of his mother's house. As a result, Poulin was charged with receipt of child pornography, 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(2)(A), (b)(1); and possession of child pornography, 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B), (b)(2). He later pled guilty to both charges and received a 115-month prison term, followed by a lifetime term of supervised released with various conditions attached. Poulin now challenges the length of his prison term and the accompanying supervised release, as well as certain conditions of the supervised release term. For the reasons that follow, we vacate Poulin's sentence and remand for resentencing.

BACKGROUND

Poulin was born and raised in California, where he pre-dominantly lived with his grandparents. In 2003 at age eighteen, Poulin married a woman who he would later divorce in 2006. It was around that time when Poulin fathered a son with another woman--a son he later obtained primary custody of after moving to Moline, Illinois, in June 2011.

In August 2011, Poulin and his son moved into Poulin's mother's house. Poulin's mother, stepfather, and step-siblings

Page 798

(ages 5 and 6) also resided in the house. Poulin had a bedroom in the basement, where he kept a computer and looked at adult pornography on a daily basis. At some point, Poulin became interested in child pornography, and he used file-sharing software to search and download at least 30 videos of child pornography.

In September 2011, law enforcement officers remotely accessed Poulin's computer files through file-sharing software. They discovered that Poulin was offering to distribute certain child-pornography videos. In response, the officers obtained and executed a valid search warrant of Poulin's residence. Poulin's computer, two hard drives, and a television were seized. A forensic examination of the items revealed the illicit videos.

A grand jury returned a two-count indictment in December 2011, charging Poulin with receipt of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(2)(A), (b)(1) (" Count One" ), and possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B), (b)(2) (" Count Two" ). Dr. Ron Nieberding, a licensed clinical psychologist, was asked to evaluate Poulin's competency to stand trial. Dr. Nieberding in turn filed two reports with the court--the first addressed Poulin's trial competency; the second, Poulin's mental state at the time of the ...


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