LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Reno man given life in prison for recruiting two teenage girls to work as prostitutes in California will be resentenced by a federal judge in Riverside, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
A three-justice panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals squashed the life sentence handed to Juan Rico Doss in 2007 in Riverside federal court for sex trafficking in children, transporting minors into prostitution, conspiracy and other charges.
Doss’ victims, a 14-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl, were taken from Nevada to work as prostitutes in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and Oakland in May 2005, according to court papers.
During the trial, evidence showed that Doss was paid by men for sex with the girls, who were told to lie about their ages if asked, federal prosecutors said.
Doss was sentenced to a mandatory life term in prison for repeated sex offenses against children, after the trial judge found that an earlier pandering conviction involving underage prostitutes qualified as a prior sex offense, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In his appeal to the 9th Circuit, Doss claimed that the pandering conviction that triggered the mandatory life sentence did not, in fact, involve a minor under the federal definition.
In its ruling, the appeals court determined that the “fairest approach would be to remand … for a new sentencing proceeding to determine, applying a beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard, whether Doss’ prior sex conviction indeed involved a minor under the federal definition.”
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