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United States v. Hill

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

April 17, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
JOSHUA THOMAS HILL, Defendant - Appellant

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. D.C. Docket No. 1:12-cr-00285-WSD-AJB-1.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Richard Sterling Moultrie Jr., Phyllis Clerk, Dahil Dueno Goss, Lawrence R. Sommerfeld, Sally Yates, U.S. Attorney's Office, Atlanta, GA.

For Joshua Thomas Hill, Defendant - Appellant: Andrew C. Hall, Hall Hirsh, LLC, Decatur, GA.

Before TJOFLAT, WILSON, and ANDERSON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 843

PER CURIAM

Joshua Thomas Hill (" Hill" ) appeals his 192-month sentence, imposed after he pled guilty to conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1594(c). On appeal, Hill claims the district court erred by applying: (1) a two-level enhancement for using a computer to solicit a person to engage in unlawful sexual activity with a minor pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2G1.3(b)(3)(B); and (2) another two-level enhancement for his supervisory role in the offense pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 3B1.1(c). Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm.

I.

On February 19, 2012, Hill and his accomplices, Fabian Terran Murray (" Murray" ) and Clinton Saintvil (" Saintvil" ), picked up two 14-year-old girls from a park with the intent of using them as prostitutes. The group traveled to a local hotel where Hill rented a room in his name and had sex with the girls. Hill paid Saintvil for picking up the girls and later asked Saintvil for his wife, Nicole Saintvil (" Mrs. Saintvil" ), to post classified ads of the two on the internet. To that end, Hill took nude photographs of the girls on his phone and sent the pictures to Mrs. Saintvil; however, she informed Hill that the nude photographs could not be used online. Hill then photographed the girls in undergarments and sent the pictures to Mrs. Saintvil, who then used them to place online ads.

Hill offered the girls to clients for sexual acts, setting the prices charged and taking the illicit proceeds. Hill used this money

Page 844

to pay Saintvil for driving the women to meet a client and to reimburse Mrs. Saintvil for posting the online advertisements.

During the same time period, Hill also enlisted Saintvil's assistance to take a third young woman to various locations where she engaged in prostitution. As with the other two minors, Hill used internet ads to obtain clients for her.

Hill was indicted in federal court along with Murray and Saintvil for conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking and substantive counts of child sex trafficking in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 1594(c) and 1591(a)(1).[1] After Hill pled guilty to the conspiracy charge, the United States Probation Office recommended, among other enhancements, a two-level upward adjustment for Hill's leadership role in the offense under § 3B1.1(c). At sentencing, the Government urged the district court to apply an additional two-level enhancement for Hill's use of a computer to solicit individuals to engage in prohibited sexual conduct with minors under § 2G1.3(b)(3)(B). After considering the parties' ...


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