This morning at 10 a.m., three blocks south of New York City’s Chinatown, a second appeal of former U.S. international Todd Broxmeyer’s sentence on child pornography charges is to be held.
A first appeal on the sentence that was handed down in April 2009 cut his original 40-year Federal sentence by a quarter. This appeal, to be heard in the Second Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, is short; both sides in the appeal have only seven minutes to make their arguments.
But the ramifications could be long-lasting, depending on the outcome.
Broxmeyer’s Federal sentence can be boiled down to one word: “sexting.” The pervasiveness of sexting cases in American high schools are such that prosecutors do not have the resources to prosecute “to the ends of justice” every single one of them. In many instances, the response of authorities has been to hold school-wide assemblies on the dangers of sexting rather than pin Federal charges on anyone with a nude image of a teen on their mobile phone.
Given the pervasiveness of the behavior and the thorny legal grounds for prosecution, it is entirely within the realm of possibility that Broxmeyer may wind up walking out of the courthouse today a free man.
Let me repeat that again. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that Broxmeyer may wind up walking out of the courthouse today a free man.
You see, there are two sets of sentences that have been keeping the former Model Hockey Academy coach behind bars. One, the Federal sentence, is actually more than one sentence that is being served concurrently. The other sentence is a state charge, which was a four-year plea deal he received for raping one of his players.
Since it was in December 2007 when he was placed under arrest and he has been under the control of the state since then, Broxmeyer will have already served the totality of his state sentence for rape. If the appeals court strikes the Federal sexting charges, then the Federal sentence is null and void.
Given some of the strong rhetoric coming from the District Attorney’s office in the Broxmeyer matter during trial, terming the former Wilkes University head coach “the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing,” it would be a stunning reversal.