Va. pedophile is resentenced to 12 1/2 years


A federal judge in Baltimore whose prison sentence for a "recidivous pedophile" was rejected by an appeals court last year as too light, gave the Virginia man the same sentence yesterday.

U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson sentenced Brett M. Gold, 35, of Fredericksburg to 12 1/2 years in prison for crossing state lines into Maryland to have sex with a 13-year-old girl he met on the Internet in 2002.

The girl was in fact an undercover FBI agent.

On April 16, 2004, Gold received the same 12 1/2 -year prison term from the judge.

The sentence, which fell below federal guidelines, was appealed to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which struck it down and sent the case back for resentencing. But this year, the Supreme Court gave judges greater latitude in sentencing, enabling Nickerson to depart from the guidelines because they no longer are mandatory.

"The sentence is not quite as long as we had asked for but it is quite a lengthy sentence, and we think it sends an important message," Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said yesterday.

Gold's attorney praised the judge's consistency.

"There was nobody hurt, there was nobody abused," said attorney David B. Irwin. "That was factored into the judge's decision, and he came up with a fair sentence."

Gold had been convicted in Virginia in 1998 of having sex with a 13-year-old girl whom he met and pursued on the Internet. Still on probation from the Virginia conviction, Gold traveled to Maryland to meet another girl for sex in an FBI sting operation in 2002. He pleaded guilty.

Federal prosecutors appealed the original sentence because the court departed from the mandatory guidelines range of 14 to 17 1/2 years.

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