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United States v. Jordan

January 13, 2006


Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 03 CR 254. William C. Griesbach, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sykes, Circuit Judge.


Before EASTERBROOK, ROVNER, and SYKES, Circuit Judges.

Kevin Jordan, age 42, carried on an illicit relationship with a 15-year-old Wisconsin girl he seduced over the Internet and persuaded to live with him in Ohio. He was eventually caught and pleaded guilty to two federal crimes: traveling in interstate commerce to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile and interstate stalking. Although the applicable guidelines sentencing range was 110-137 months' imprisonment, the district court imposed the maximum sentence of 240 months.

Jordan argues on appeal that the sentence is unreasonable. He also argues that application of the Supreme Court's remedial opinion in United States v. Booker, 125 S.Ct. 738 (2005), making the sentencing guidelines advisory rather than mandatory, exposed him to a longer sentence in violation of ex post facto principles implicit in due process. We rejected the latter argument in United States v. Jamison, 416 F.3d 538, 539 (7th Cir. 2005), and see no reason to revisit that holding here. We affirm Jordan's sentence as reasonable and adequately explained by the district court.

I. Background

Kevin Jordan, age 42 when he committed his crimes, trolled Internet chat rooms seeking teenage girls with whom he could establish sexual relationships. One of the teenagers Jordan contacted online was K.W., a 15-year-old girl with bipolar disorder who lived with her parents and siblings in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Jordan arranged to meet K.W. in person, and in October 2002 drove to Wisconsin from his home in Mount Vernon, Ohio, for the meeting. On the morning of October 14, 2002, K.W.'s mother dropped her off at school; K.W. then disappeared for six months. Jordan picked her up in Green Bay and drove her first to Milwaukee, where they had sexual relations in a hotel, and then to Mount Vernon, where she lived with him and they carried on a sexual relationship. Jordan also took pornographic pictures of K.W. and stored them on his computer. During the six months K.W. spent with Jordan, her family had no contact with her and no knowledge of her whereabouts.

In April 2003 K.W. decided to move back to her family in Wisconsin, so she arranged for her aunt to pick her up in Ohio and return her home. She resumed living with her family in Green Bay but kept in touch with Jordan via the Internet, telephone, and U.S. mail. In June 2003 she moved in with her aunt and uncle in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, and attempted to cease all contact with Jordan. Yet Jordan persisted in his attempts to communicate with K.W. and also with her aunt. He sent them both letters and e-mails, and during October 2003, he called their house over 100 times. During these calls, he would typically play music or breathe into the phone, but on one occasion he told K.W.'s aunt, "Bitch, I will get you." On October 23, 2003, using the screen name "Icdeadppl" [I see dead people], he e-mailed K.W.'s aunt the following message: "This . . . world will end soon and you and ppl [people] like you will end too." K.W.'s aunt took this as a threat. In late October Jordan left Mount Vernon and drove to Wisconsin. Between November 3 and 5, 2003, K.W.'s uncle saw Jordan driving past his home in Peshtigo on at least five occasions.

Before arriving in Peshtigo, however, Jordan drove to Davenport, Iowa, to see another teenage girl whom he had met on the Internet. K.M. was 13 years old when Jordan first contacted her online in April 2002 and 14 years old when Jordan visited her in Davenport during late October and early November 2003. Jordan had previously sent K.M. cards, letters, and flowers. Forensic review of Jordan's computer revealed extensive e-mail correspondence between them, including e-mails in which K.M. told Jordan of her affection and love for him. Jordan's computer also contained several photographs of K.M. in a cheerleading uniform, one of her in a bikini, and one in which K.M. had her shirt pulled up, exposing her breasts. K.M. later told authorities that her contact with Jordan did not escalate into a sexual relationship.

Jordan was finally arrested on November 6, 2003, after passing out at a shopping mall near Peshtigo. A handgun was found in the hotel room where he was staying. Upon questioning, Jordan acknowledged a previous felony conviction in Ohio for sexually abusing his daughter at least twice monthly when she was between the ages of three and five years old. Jordan said he did not think his conduct was wrong because he believed his daughter enjoyed it.*fn1 Jordan also refused to acknowledge that his relationship with K.W. was wrong, saying that he disagreed with "man's law" that made it a crime for an adult to have sex with an adolescent girl.

Jordan was charged in a four-count indictment and eventually pleaded guilty to two crimes: traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in a sexual act with a person under the age of 18, contrary to 18 U.S.C. § 2423(b) (Count 1), and traveling in interstate commerce with intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another person, contrary to 18 U.S.C. § 2261A(1) (Count 3). While awaiting sentencing, Jordan wrote to his 14-year-old son and asked him to try to contact a man from Ecuador whom he had met in jail. Jordan told his son that the Ecuadorian had told him that in his country the government would have no problem with his relationship with K.W. Jordan also said in the letter that he still loved K.W. and suggested that he and K.W. could live together in Ecuador. Jordan said his dream was to be with K.W. forever.

At sentencing the government presented evidence showing that in addition to the child pornography Jordan created with K.W., he also had hundreds of other images of child pornography on his computer, most involving prepubescent children engaging in sexual acts with adults or other children. The government's evidence also showed that Jordan had communicated with at least 14 teenage girls via online chat rooms and e-mail messages. Jordan focused his online efforts on chat rooms that catered to teens or that had sexually suggestive names. Two of the girls Jordan contacted specifically identified themselves as being 14 and 15 years old. Jordan typically initiated his communications with each of the girls with the following standard message:

Hi, I just saw you in the sex with you know group. Thought I'd write and see what happens. Do you happen to talk with older guys? I'll let you know that I'm 43. I do have a profile at Yahoo. I live in Ohio. I do prefer younger girls. You are so much easier to get along with and relate to. I have been in a relationship with a girl MUCH younger than me. I'll also tell you that we met through the Internet and met in person soon after. Where are you from?

Special Agent Eric Szatkowski, an experienced investigator of online child exploitation, testified that Jordan referred to his previous relationship with a much younger girl as a grooming technique designed to lower a potential victim's defenses by ...

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