Case 1:11-cr-00556-AJT Document 49

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* * v. * * RANCES ULICES AMAYA * * Defendant. * ___________________________________ *

Criminal no. 1:11CR556

Honorable Anthony J. Trenga Sentencing: June 1, 2012

POSITION ON SENTENCING BY DEFENDANT RANCES ULICES AMAYA COMES NOW, the Defendant RANCES ULICES AMAYA, (hereinafter “AMAYA”), by and through counsel and hereby represents onto the court as follows: In accordance with Section 6A1.2 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and this Court’s policy regarding procedures to be followed in guidelines sentencing, AMAYA hereby states that he has reviewed with counsel his Presentence Investigation Report (hereinafter “PSI”) prepared in this case and he presents the following arguments pertaining to the imposition of sentence: ARGUMENT In reviewing and assessing the PSI, it is abundantly clear that AMAYA was raised by a dysfunctional family without any familial controls on an adolescent boy. The evidence presented at trial consisted of gang members (with reasons to testify untruthfully) and young girls who were clearly intimidated by the judicial process and not necessarily providing the most objective testimony.


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In addition, AMAYA pled not guilty to the charges presented against him and thereby denied any involvement in the alleged criminal enterprise. AMAYA continues in his steadfast denial in any involvement in the crimes for which he was tried and convicted. The Court must weigh a number of factors in fashioning an appropriate sentence in this matter. The suggested Federal Sentencing Guidelines are but one of the factors to be considered. The Court also must weigh the factors set out in 18 USA, Section 3553(a). 1.) NATURE AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE OFFENSE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DEFENDANT As stated above, AMAYA continues to dispute the convictions of conspiracy and sex trafficking of a child. Without admitting that any conspiracy or prostitution occurred, AMAYA affirmatively represents that he believed that any person with whom he had any form of sexual contact was an adult. In addition, AMAYA specifically denies engaging in the actions which were represented to the court as true. Those alleged activities (as stated in Court) were both untrue and erroneous. AMAYA has a horrific criminal record. However, that criminal record must be viewed for what it is. On the one-hand, the criminal record is a reflection of a complete lack of adult supervision and/or involvement in his life. Out of a total of 12 criminal actions, 6 were committed by AMAYA as a juvenile and 6 were committed as an adult over the age of 18. (1 at 19 years of age, 1 at 21 years of age; and 4 at age 22) As AMAYA stated above, this is clearly a reflection of a young child out-of-control, screaming for attention with no one there or listening. AMAYA does not claim a pass on these offenses; he merely requests that his criminal record be viewed in context. AMAYA was born in the United States and was removed from the United States by his mother upon the dissolution of her relationship with AMAYA’S father. AMAYA was sent to El

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Salvador and lived there with family relatives. While in El Salvador he suffered the loss of an aunt and an uncle and the kidnapping of a cousin. Clearly this would have been enough trauma for a young child to bear, but it became worse. AMAYA was removed by his mother from El Salvador, a place that came to be his home, and returned to the United States - the place of his birth and citizenship but a foreign land. In the United States he lived with his mother - a virtual stranger, and her new husband an actual stranger. Certainly, this was sufficient trauma for a young boy, so the rebellion commenced. AMAYA adopted his own new family - MS-13. There is little that this Court can be told of MS-13 that it does not already know. However, for better or worse, it became AMAYA’S substitute family. In fact, despite various attempts by the probation officer and by counsel for AMAYA and their agents, AMAYA’S mother has been unavailable to speak with anyone. Counsel has attempted to contact other members of AMAYA’S biological family with limited success. The aforementioned clearly indicates a total lack of support for AMAYA despite his still young age. AMAYA continues to deny his involvement in the criminal enterprise and further denies his continuing involvement in MS-13. However, while it is true that upon departing the Court subsequent to the rendering of the jury verdict AMAYA flashed a gang sign, it is also true that AMAYA was ill-equipped to express his disappointment. Certainly, this was inappropriate behavior for which AMAYA has apologized to counsel. 2) THE KINDS OF SENTENCES AVAILABLE, THE ADVISORY GUIDELINE RANGE AND THE NEED TO AVOID SENTENCING DISPARITIES Sadly, the Court has limited sentencing options available to it due to the nature of the offenses for which AMAYA was convicted. As AMAYA continues to maintain his innocence


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there can be no expressions of acceptance of responsibility for these crimes, and the only remorse is that of one person for another person’s misfortune. The Court, whether utilizing only the Federal Sentencing Guidelines or utilizing other factors, the only option for the Court is a period of incarceration. The question then obviously becomes the length of sentence. The advisory guideline range is 360 months to life. AMAYA has reviewed both the PSI and the government’s position on sentencing and argues that life imprisonment is not the appropriate sentence. Life in prison takes none of the personal factors of AMAYA’S life into consideration. While the Court is free to discount all of those factors, especially in light of the underlying criminal conviction, AMAYA encourages the Court not to turn a blind eye to his circumstances. A sentence of less than life, actually less than the 360 months suggested as the lower range of the guidelines, would be appropriate. In fact, a sentence in line with the co-defendants/related defendants would more than satisfy the need for punishment. As the PSI noted those persons were sentenced respectively to 292 months, 120 months (2 concurrent sentences of 120 months), and 25 years (on state rape charge) as such AMAYA argues that a sentence of 237 months would be sufficient. (That figure is arrived at by adding all the sentences and dividing by number of persons.) 3) THE NEED FOR RESTITUTION AMAYA is unaware of any claims of restitution. However, AMAYA, through counsel is aware of other minors that have been sexually exploited and thereafter have sued for damages. However, there has been no indication of such an event having occurred or any that are or may be pending.


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Clearly, the crimes AMAYA was convicted of are serious, and there must be a penalty. Despite AMAYA’S continued claims of innocence a penalty must be imposed, and said penalty should remain in effect until such time as the conviction is overturned. That having been said, the previously discussed sentence should be sufficient to reflect the seriousness of the criminal activity. A lengthy sentence as represented above of almost 20 years would clearly satisfy all the penal requirements aforesaid. AMAYA represents that he secured his GED while at the Culpepper, Virginia Juvenile Correctional Center. In order to succeed in a modern society, AMAYA will need additional training and education. A high school diploma without more is not sufficient to pave a road to success. Clearly, more is required. An institution wherein AMAYA can gain access to higher education is formally requested. AMAYA does not suffer from any medical issues that would require any special institutional placement. AMAYA asserts that he has no assets or financial means by which to pay fines, the costs of incarceration, the costs of any post incarceration release AMAYA requests that he be placed at an institution close to the Washington Metropolitan area so that he could be accessible to whatever family and whichever friends he has remaining.


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CONCLUSION AMAYA stands before the Court a broken young man. A young man facing a penitentiary sentence that is greater than the entirety of his entire life. He faces a sentence which is beyond his imagination. AMAYA faces long term separation from his fractured family and the mother of his twin children and the twin children themselves. A prison sentence in excess of the defense suggestion serves no purpose beyond acting as mere punishment. It leaves no hope or possibility of rehabilitation. It is respectfully suggested that accepting the government’s sentencing posture would be inappropriate.

Respectfully submitted, ____________________________________ RANCES ULICES AMAYA By counsel

___________________________________ ARIF & ASSOCIATES, P.C. Michael S. Arif, VSB # 20999 Melissa Sanchez, VSB # 77280 8001 Braddock Road Suite # 100 Springfield, VA 22151 703-323-1200 Fax 703-978-1040


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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I HEREBY CERTIFY that on the 29th day of MAY 2012, I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of Court using the CM/ECF system, which will send notification of such filing (NEF) to all counsel of record: Zachery Terwilliger, Esq. Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Frank Special Assistant United States Attorney Attorneys for the United States United States Attorney’s Office 2100 Jamieson Avenue Alexandria, VA 22314

______________________________ Michael S. Arif


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