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Name: U.S. v. Rodriguez-Guzman
Case #: 06-10585
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 10/22/2007

In determining if a prior conviction qualifies for purpose of enhancing a sentence, the court is permitted to go beyond the fact of the mere conviction and consider judicially noticeable facts in the record. Appellant was convicted of unlawful reentry by a deported alien. The government sought to enhance his sentence on the basis of his prior California conviction for statutory rape. Under the United States Sentencing Guidelines, when evaluating prior convictions for enhancement purposes, the court must look to the “generic, contemporary meaning of an offense.” Although statutory rape is a per se crime of violence that qualifies as a basis for sentence enhancement, the California statute exceeded the common and accepted definition of the crime in that it established the age of consent at 18 years rather than the accepted definition establishing age of consent at 16 years. In this case the record failed to provide judicially noticeable facts that would have otherwise established that the prior conviction dealt with a victim of the established age of consent.