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In SDNY Judge Sullivan Gives Sherlock 18 Months For Child Porn As Richardson Got Time Served

By Matthew Russell Lee, Scoop Patreon, thread

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 6 – The day after a 28 year old man who uploaded hundreds of pieces of pornography of children as young as four was sentenced in 40 Foley Square to "time served," on September 6 Circuit Judge Richard J. Sullivan on similar facts sentenced Daniel Sherlock to 18 months in prison. Judge Sullivan said he wishes Sherlock happiness, but that these crimes have victims who are harmed not only in the making of the films but each time they are shown.

  In fact in the September 5 case of Phillip Richardson the US Attorney for the SDNY said that the identified victims have said they do not want to be notified when their images are parts of a case or prosecution.

  Sherlock, like Richardson, was represented by Federal Defenders. And Sherlock had more medical reports. But Judge Sullivan said that Doctor Comer identified Sherlock as perhaps faking a low IQ score. Richardson's disability the day before was accepted at face value, despite the sentencing submission saying he'd been able to get a visa and travel to China to teach children.

  Judge Sullivan is his usual fatherly way told Sherlock he advises, once he is out, against getting a job that involves Internet use. He also order no use of even adult pornography. The Federal Defender appeared ready to object - this restriction was described on September 5 as having been disfavored by the Second Circuit on which Judge Sullivan sits - but she didn't. Instead she said she may apply for bail pending appeal. Inner City Press will continue to follow these cases.

  In fairness, the case of Phillip Richardson was also a difficult one. Federal Defender Martin Cohen called him autistic and said he would fare poorly in prison. He appeared to say - the withholding or non-filing of the sentencing submission makes it hard to ascertain - that Banana Kelly was seeking housing for Mr. Richardson and that now a group called Tri-County will.

  U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Ronnie Abram, whom Inner City Press has covered being a mentor to defendants between the ages of 18 and 25, took the sentencing seriously. She stressed that Richardson never actually violated a child; he only trafficked in these images.  But who makes these films? Who creates the market in which children are abused to make these films?

  While Richardson was portrayed as almost catatonic and therefore not really a danger, the only sentencing submission on the docket, signed by Assistant US Attorney Aline R. Flodr for Geoffrey S. Berman, says that "the defendant has obtained a passport and visa to work in China... defendant had indeed flown to China shortly after being confronted by law enforcement and had obtained a job teaching English to young children. (PSR Para 12)."

  How incapacitated is someone who can get a visa to and job in China? The government partially redacted sentencing submission refers to the defendant's - Federal Defenders' -- August 27, 2019 sentencing memorandum and accompanying exhibits.

  There is nothing in the docket on that date. Who decides to withhold the whole thing?  On what basis?

 Again in fairness to Judge Abrams, it would be a burden to sentence Richardson, who apparently tried to hang himself in the Federal Defenders' office, to jail and have bad things happen. But what about what may happen with him out? Or what may have happened in China? Inner City Press, the only media in the court room for this sentencing, intends to have more on this.

  As if in another world, just 14 stories down: in reporting on the sometimes depressing litany of young adults jailed in the U.S. Federal courts, with sentences repeated extended by violations of Supervised Release, one hears from time to time of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York's Young Adult Opportunity Program. Inner City Press heard it mentioned on September 3 by SDNY Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn, that there was an open meeting later in the day.

Nowhere on the SDNY website was the location of the meeting given, but a defense attorney pointed Inner City Press in the right direction, in 40 Foley Square.

  There, Judge Netburn and District Judge Ronnie Abrams, fresh off presiding over what some called the homeless beat-down trial of Sargeant Cordell Fitts, took on roles strikingly different than at sentencings and changes of plea. A baker's dozen of program participants sat in a circle testifying, in the manner of group therapy, about how their month of August had gone.

  For most it was good: a man had apologized to a woman for his behavior, another was making money from his livery cab even while going home to take care of his daughter. A woman had gotten engaged and nearly all were in school. One had been and perhaps will again be a Columbia University teacher's aide, working now at a non-profit.

  The judges gave each of them encouragement, extracting life lessons such as to not hang out with the same old crowd, to not get flumoxed by the ups and downs of income.

  To the two graduating on September 3, good luck was wished. Cases reactivate and it is up to each defendant's lawyer to make a pitch to the Assistant US Attorneys on how to proceed.

Of course there were challenges: a school too far away from home, a month so bad its experiencer asked to speak to the judges in private afteward. (Inner City Press left, and is also not identifying participants in this story). But it was a welcome relief to the drum beat of sentencings and violations of supervised release. There should be more or it.

While many even most cases in the Magistrates Court of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York are sealed or have case numbers given only later, on September 3 Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn herself expressed concern about unanswered questions about a defendant whose name appeared to be Mr Foreman, a citizen of Guyana and also perhaps of the United States, either living with his mother or not. He is charged with wire fraud and aggrevated identity theft.

Given all these uncertainties, Judge Netburn said no release until conditions met. She also suggested that his appointed lawyer look into the Young Adult Opportunity Program she runs along with SDNY District Judge Ronnie Abrams. Later on September 3, Inner City Press did look into the program, see above. 

Back on August 30 Magistrate Judge Parker was reading out the bond conditions for a defendant called Soto when suddenly the government and Federal Defender Christopher Flood asked for a whispered sidebar.

  There was no court reporter, and Inner City Press the only media in the Mag court could not hear. Suddenly the bail deal was off, and the bond proceeding continued until September 5 in front of Judge Parker. Soto is charged with selling guns, and said he planned to work for Amazon while he said being already employed as a teachers aid. Was this what the whispering was about? Murky mag court indeed.

  Even in the Mag court, case law requires that there be one the record findings about the need to defeat the presumption of press and public access to all facets of such proceedings. Inner City Press will have more on this.

  Earlier in the week affable Judge Parker instructed a defendant named Mr. Patterson who was being released to stay away from the Gun Hill Road area in The Bronx.

The scope of that neighborhood was not defined; his assigned CJA lawyer as we've noted before is at the same time representing the government in a criminal contempt case. Inner City Press will have more on this.

Inner City Press will continue to cover this and other SDNY and 2nd Circuit cases - watch this site, and there is more on Patreon, here.


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