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United States v. Sedlak

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

June 20, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
ROGER SEDLAK, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM

          HON. JOHN E. JONES III

         The pro se defendant Roger Sedlak (“Defendant”) has filed a motion (Doc. 522) to amend the sentencing order so that it will show that he is not required to comply with Pennsylvania's sex offender registration law. Defendant also requests that the Court order the United States Probation Department to amend his presentence report (PSR) so that it too shows that he does not have to comply with that law.[1]

         I. BACKGROUND

         Pursuant to a written plea agreement executed in June 2010, Defendant pled guilty to four counts of a superseding indictment, Counts 1, 3, 5, and 18. Count 1 charged a conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. § 371 to violate 18 U.S.C. § 2421, interstate transportation with the intent to engage in prostitution, and to violate 18 U.S.C. § 2422(a), persuading, inducing, coercing and enticing interstate travel to engage in prostitution. Count 3 charged a substantive violation of section 2422(a). Count 5 charged a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1), aggravated identity theft. Count 18 charged a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i), money laundering.

         The plea agreement originally contained a paragraph which would have expressed Defendant's “understand[ing], in part, that the Court “as a condition of supervised release . . . must order the defendant to comply with all sex offender registration requirements under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act . . .” (Doc. 207, plea agreement ¶ 4).[2] The government agreed to strike this provision from the agreement.

         On July 7, 2011, Defendant was sentenced to an aggregate term of 145 months' imprisonment and to ten years of supervised release. The sentencing order described the offense in Count 3 simply as 18 U.S.C. 2422. (Doc. 285, judgment in a criminal case, at 2). The sentencing order also required Defendant, among other conditions of supervised release, to “comply with the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act . . . as directed by the probation officer, the Bureau of Prisons, or any state sex offender registration agency which he or she resides, works, is a student, or was convicted of a qualifying offense.” (Id. at 4).

         Defendant's convictions and sentence were affirmed on direct appeal. United States v. Sedlak, 529 Fed.Appx. 253 (3d Cir. 2013)(nonprecedential). As pertinent here, Defendant challenged on direct appeal the Court's imposition of the condition requiring him to comply with SORNA. That challenge was rejected. The Third Circuit stated: “The District Court did not commit any reversible error by requiring him to comply with the requirements of the sex offender registration agency in any state where he resides or works because whether or not he actually has to register as a sex offender is a matter of state law.” Id. at 255.

         On March 10, 2015, the Court denied a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate the convictions and sentence. United States v. Sedlak, 2015 WL 1033981 (M.D. Pa.). On February 8, 2016, the Third Circuit denied Defendant's application for a certificate of appealability in regard to the 2255 motion and then on September 11, 2017, denied his petition for a rehearing. United States v. Sedlak, C.A. No. 15-2446 (3d Cir.).

         Defendant has filed numerous other motions seeking various forms of relief. As relevant here, on June 9, 2014, he filed a motion (Doc. 385) under Fed. R. Crim. P. 36 to correct a clerical error in the sentencing order so that it would show Count 3 was a conviction for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(a), not simply for in violation of section 2422.[3] On July 17, 2014, the Court granted that motion. (Doc. 405).

         On July 21, 2014, the amended sentencing order (Doc. 407) was filed. It clarified that Count 3 was a violation of section 2422(a). (Id. at 2). But it also imposed a requirement concerning sex offender registration in language slightly different from the original sentencing order. The amended order provided that “[t]he defendant shall register with the state sex offender registration agency in the state where the defendant resides, works, or is a student, as directed by the probation officer.” (Id. at 4). As noted, Defendant only moved to clarify that Count 3 was an offense under section 2422(a). He did not move to modify the SORNA language, nor did the Court order any such modification.

         In the instant motion to amend the sentencing order, Defendant contends he does not have to register as a sex offender because he did not commit a sex offense as defined in SORNA. 34 U.S.C. § 20901 et seq.[4] SORNA imposes registration requirements, id. § 20913, on those who have committed a “sex offense, ” as defined in the Act. Id. § 20911. Defendant says he did not commit a sex offense as defined in SORNA because section 20911(5)(C) excepts from the definition of a sex offense, in pertinent part, an “offense involving consensual sexual conduct . . . if the victim was an adult unless the adult was under the custodial authority of the offender at the time of the offense . . . .” Defendant also relies on Commonwealth v. Muniz, 164 A.3d 1189, 1193, 1224 (Pa. 2017), where the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that Pennsylvania's SORNA violated Pennsylvania's ex post facto clause in regard to the appellant there (with a minority on the court also holding it violated the federal ex post facto clause as well).

         As relief, Defendant requests that the Court amend the sentencing order: (1) to show that he is not subject to sex offender registration in Pennsylvania in light of what he says is the intervening change in Pennsylvania law under Muniz; (2) to clearly show in light of federal SORNA's definition of a sex offense that he does not have to register as a sex offender; and (3) in light of Muniz, to correct the sentencing order to show, based on the plea agreement, that he would not be subject to registration as a sex offender under Pennsylvania law.

         He also requests that the Court order the United States Probation Department to amend Defendant's PSR to clearly reflect that Defendant's relevant offense was under 18 U.S.C. § 2422(a), that his offense thus falls within the exception to the definition of a sex offense under federal SORNA, and that he need not register under Pennsylvania law in light of Muniz.

         III. ...


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