A 30-year mandatory minimum sentence for a man convicted of crossing state lines to have sex with a 10-year-old girl has been upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The decision overturned a ruling that had declared the penalty unconstitutional.
In 2008, a trial judge found the mandatory sentence disproportionately severe compared to penalties for similar and more aggravated crimes. Instead of giving Kelly Brenton Farley the minimum 30 years, the judge sentenced him to 19 years and seven months. In a 112-page ruling yesterday, the appeals court said a 1991 U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld a life without parole sentence for a man convicted of possessing 672 grams of cocaine “dooms” Farley’s arguments. Farley was caught in an undercover sting operation in which an agent posed as the mother of the 10-year-old girl in online chats. He was arrested at the Atlanta airport before his prearranged meeting with the fictitious mother and child.