Sex Offenders Cannot Face Enhanced Sentencing If No Child Is Involved

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer
Published: Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 6:20pm

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that judges cannot enhance a sentence in child sex solicitation cases where there is no child actually involved.

The Supreme Court's decision upends a lower appellate court ruling centered on convicted sex offender Dale A. Wright.

In 1992, he was convicted for "dangerous crimes against children" after offering to pay a U.S. postal inspector — posing in a sting operation — to have sex with her underage children.

He was given lifetime probation, but the state revoked it a decade later and sentenced him to a 10-year prison term.

But the high court found that punishment is reserved for enhanced cases where a child is directly impacted, they are younger, more vulnerable and the touching is most invasive.

In Wright's case, having never met the children, the judges ruled for resentencing and established the presumptive prison term in cases without children should be 3.5 years.

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