Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sentencing memorandum indicates more sex charges may be filed against Joplin Schools tech employee

(From Sept. 13, 2013)
More child sex charges may be filed against former Joplin R-8 School District technology department employee Ronny Justin Myers, according to a sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

The charges appear to be concerning the molestation of his three stepdaughters, including enticing his six-year-old stepdaughter into a sexual act by not letting her have a stuffed animal until she touched him.

Myers had been scheduled to be sentenced Friday, but the sentencing hearing was postponed after the government announced in the memorandum that it wanted Myers, who pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child, to spend at least 25 years in prison.

The memorandum, as noted earlier in the Turner Report, indicated that Myers, whose job included monitoring the laptops that are given to every Joplin High School student, had pornographic photos of 10 Joplin students.

A footnote to the memorandum suggests that more charges are pending against Myers, likely in connection with the sexual assault on his stepdaughters.

The complete memorandum is printed below. At one point, it is interrupted by the footnotes, which are printed in italic.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI SOUTHWESTERN DIVISION  
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,  ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) v.    )  No.  13-05005-01-CR-SW-BP ) RONNY JUSTIN MYERS,   ) ) Defendant. )  
GOVERNMENT’S MOTION FOR UPWARD SENTENCING GUIDELINES VARIANCE
The United States of America, by Tammy Dickinson, the United States Attorney for the
Western District of Missouri, and through Abram McGull, II, Assistant United States Attorney,
moves the Court to impose an upward variance from the recommended Sentencing Guidelines
range for the defendant, in accord with the following:

PROCEDURAL HISTORY 
1. On April 2, 2013, the defendant was indicted by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Missouri in a two-count superseding indictment that charged him with: (1) the unlawful transferring of obscene material to another individual that had not attained the age of sixteen in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1470; and (2) the knowingly use of a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to persuade and entice a person that the
defendant believed was less than eighteen, that is fourteen year old C.A., to  engage in any sexual activity in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b);

2. On May 13, 2013, before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush, the defendant pleaded guilty to both counts of the indictment without a plea agreement;

3. On June 3, 2013, the Honorable U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips entered an Order accepting the defendant’s May 13, 2013 guilty plea and adjudged the defendant guilty of the crimes alleged in the superseding indictment;

4. On August 14, 2013, U.S. Probation and Parole prepared the final Presentence Investigation Report, and the defendant did not make any objections to the Sentencing Guideline calculations;1

5. The defendant’s uncontested Sentencing Guidelines calculations determined that he had a total offense level of 34, a criminal history category of I, and a Guidelines range of 151 to 188 months’ imprisonment;
 
6. The defendant is set for sentencing on Friday, September 13, 2013, at 10:00 a.m.;

STATEMENT OF FACTS 
7. The investigation of defendant’s criminal conduct began on or about December 18, 2012, when the defendant’s former paramour’s 14-year old daughter C.A. disclosed to a school counselor that she was forced to perform sexual acts upon the defendant when she was between the ages of 8 and 12;

8. Sometime in November 2012, the defendant reached out to C.A. via Facebook which prompted C.A. to reveal to a school counselor her previous sexual encounters with

 (Footnote)1  First, the defendant objected to information contained in paragraphs 3-9 (sic) of the sixteen- page 08/14/2013 PSI report.  Those objections were technical in nature and did not affect the overall computation of the Sentencing Guidelines range.  Moreover, the information in the paragraphs mentioned and objected to by the defendant were corroborated in his lengthy Miranda-waived and video-taped statement to law enforcement on the date of his arrest (February 15, 2013).    
Second, the defendant objected to paragraph 29 of the sixteen-page 08/14/2013 PSI report.  Paragraph 29 mentioned pending aggravated sodomy charges against the defendant that were neither scored for his criminal history nor admitted to by the defendant.  However, the information that is the basis of the pending charges in paragraph 29 was provided by the defendant to law enforcement in his statement to law enforcement on the date of his arrest in a video-taped statement (February 15, 2013). 

the defendant five to six years ago;

9. On December 20, 2012, law enforcement, with C.A.’s guardian permission, received approval to assume C.A.’s identity and began communicating with the defendant;
 
10. These internet exchanges became very graphic and morphed into the defendant knowingly sending over the internet to a person the defendant believed to be 14 years of age, obscene material.  This obscene material included an adult female performing oral copulation upon an adult male and an adult male preparing to insert his penis into an adult female’s vagina;

11. The defendant’s internet conversation with his former victim of child molestation from 5 to 6 years ago, continued until February 15, 2013.  On that date, the defendant attempted to entice who he believed to be C.A. to cross state lines in order for him to engage in sexual activity with C.A., namely, oral copulation during his lunch hour from work;

12. Around mid-morning, on February 15, 2013, the defendant drove to the Joplin mall to pick up C.A.  However, he realized while driving to the prearranged location to get C.A. that law enforcement officers were waiting for him.  The defendant avoided capture and led police on high speed car chase away from the Joplin mall and through the city of Joplin;

13. After committing numerous traffic violations, the defendant eventually yielded to the pursuing police and was taken into custody;

14.  While in custody, the defendant was given his Miranda Rights and he agreed to waive those rights and speak with law enforcement officers;

15. During the nearly three-hour videotaped interview, the defendant was very candid and forthcoming about his sexual attraction to little girls less than 12 years of age.  Thedefendant explained how he had C.A. perform oral copulation upon him when she was 8 or 9 years old.  The defendant readily admitted he could not control his sexual attraction for young girls 9 to 11 years old;

16. The defendant admitted that his new wife has three young girls living at home with him and another 17-year-old daughter living with his wife’s relative.  The three young girls, A.H. (age 6), R.H. (age 9) and E.H. (age 11) were all being sexually molested by the defendant.  The defendant admitted to having E.H. perform oral sex on him and he has digitally penetrated E.H.’s vagina.  The defendant also admitted to law enforcement that he rubbed his penis on E.H.’s vagina.  He recalled E.H. and him touching each other in a sexual way about 10 times;

17. The defendant admitted to placing stuffed animals on his erect penis and had 6-year-old A.H. rub his penis in order to play with the stuffed animals.  He admitted A.H. had performed oral sex upon him as well;

18. The defendant admitted to touching R.H.’s vagina with his hand and touching her clitoris.  He also admitted that he penetrated R.H.’s vagina with his finger;

19. The defendant admitted to police that he has secretly stored child pornography on his computer.  He stated he had approximately 10 child pornography images of Joplin school district co-eds on his laptop.  Four of the co-eds have been positively identified as D.F. (age 15); L.S. (age 16); G.S. (age 16); and N.C. (age 15);

20. The defendant readily admitted through his unlawful and deviate behavior that he sexually molested four minor victims (C.A.- 8-9 years of age (at the time of the molestation), E.H. – 11 years of age, R.H. – 9 years of age,  A.H. – 6 years of age) by engaging in oral sex, digital penetration of the victims’ vaginas, manual stimulation and rubbing his penis on C.A. and E.H.’s vagina;

21. Moreover, the defendant admitted he secretly recorded a 17-year-old engaging in sexual activity and covertly retained child pornography of Joplin school district co-eds who ranged in age from 15 to 16 years old;

DISCUSSION:  AN UPPER VARIANCE IS WARRANTED
22. Under Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38 (2007), a court may no longer require extraordinary circumstances to justify a sentence outside the Guidelines range.  Id. at 47.  However, a court must give serious consideration to the extent of any departure from the Guidelines and must explain his or her conclusion that an unusually lenient or an unusually harsh sentence is appropriate in a particular case with sufficient justification.  Id. at 46;

23. The facts of our instant case provide sufficient justification for an upward variance;

24. The defendant has sexually molested four young girls when he was in a position of trust as their pseudo-father figure.  His first known victim, C.A., was at least 9 years old when he had her repeatedly perform oral sex on him.  The defendant at the time was in his 30’s when he robbed 9-year-old C.A. of her innocence;

25. Some five years later, the 35-year-old defendant stalked C.A. a second time in order to continue his sexual exploitation of C.A.  And had it been as the defendant admitted to law enforcement, he would have had the now 14-year-old C.A. perform oral copulation upon him in Joplin, Missouri, on February 15, 2013, during his lunch break from work;

26. Even as the defendant was stalking former victim C.A., he was deeply engaged in sexually molesting three of his current step daughters who all ranged in age from 6 to 11 years old.  This sexual molestation included oral sex, digital penetration of the victims’ vaginas, manually rubbing the clitoris of the young girls and rubbing his penis against one of the victims’ vagina;

27. The defendant’s prior acts of sexual activity some five years earlier and current sexual molestation of current step children all suggest recidivism since the defendant did not modify his behavior but amplified his deviate behavior by focusing upon not one victim but multiple vulnerable victims ranging in age from 6 to 11 years old;

28. This Circuit within the last 18 months has affirmed upwardly varied sentences for similar charges for as much as 33 to 57 months from the high end of the determined Guidelines range.  In United States v. Franik, 687 F.3d 988 (8th Cir. 2012), the district court imposed a 360-month sentence in a case where a single 13-year-old victim was transported across state lines by a defendant with no previous history of sexual activity.  Defendant Franik tied up and fondled a 13-year-old child.  The district court stated, “anything less than a 30-year sentence would not promote respect for the law, and provide safety and deterrence that the community deserves.” Defendant Franik’s Guidelines range was 262-327 months;

29.   In United States v. Anderson, 664 F.3d 758 (8th Cir. 2012), the Eighth Circuit affirmed a sentence variance of 57 months where the defendant Anderson traveled across state lines to have sex with a 13-year-old victim.  This too was a single encounter with a minor victim by a middle-aged defendant (31 years of age).  The district court determined that “an upward variance was necessary to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparities, to reflect the seriousness of the offense, and to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant..  Defendant Anderson’s Guidelines range was 70-87 months.  The district court sentenced
Anderson to 144 months;

30. Both Franik and Anderson involved sexual activity by a middle-aged man with single victims that were 13 years old;
  
31. Our facts are much more egregious.  Here, defendant Myers had sexual activity with four underage minors ranging in age from 6 to 11 years old.  These were not strangers but children who trusted the defendant as a pseudo-father figure.  The defendant’s conduct was predatory and indicative of a man capable of repeating the conduct.  This is very apparent since the defendant sought to have oral copulation with C.A. five years removed from the last inappropriate sexual activity with the then 9 year old
minor child;

32. In light of prior decisions in similar cases and the factors under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), the Government respectfully submits that an upward variance of 28 months for each victim that the defendant sexually molested would be a substantively reasonable sentence.  This computation falls short of the Franik and Anderson’s upward variance that involved a single 13-year old victim engaging in single sexual episode with a middle-aged man.  Those cases are starkly and egregiously different from our middle-aged defendant who was in a pseudo-father figure role with prepubescent girls who he had them repeatedly engaged in oral sex, fondling, digital penetration and hand manipulation of their vagina;        

Therefore, the Government submits that an upward variance of 28 months per victim, or 112 months, added to the high end of the calculated and uncontested Guidelines ranges, for a total sentence of 300 months, would impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply with the purposes of § 3553(a)(2).

Respectfully submitted,
Tammy Dickinson United States Attorney
By /s/ Abram McGull, II
Abram McGull, II Mo Bar #40553 Assistant United States Attorney 901 St. Louis Street, Suite 500 Springfield, Missouri 65806-2511      

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