The Third District Court of appeals has ruled that a 20-year sentence given to a Bradford man was not sufficiently discussed by the judge.
The decision comes in the case of Michael Eugene Begin. He was 33 in 2010 when he claimed that he was a 20-year-old Marine sniper and texted sexual photographs to a 14-year-old girl.
After the girl's mother called the FBI, an agent took the place of the girl and agreed to meet Begin at a restaurant. He was arrested .
Begin faced 14 to 17 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. Prosecutors sought a 30-year sentence. U.S. District Judge Maurice B. Cohill set a 20-year sentence.
Begin's attorney argued that such a sentence was too different from other federal sentences for similar crimes, but the judge did not sufficiently consider that possibility, the appeals court found. The case was sent back to Erie.