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United States v. Denjen

United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
258 F.Supp.2d 194 (2003)


Facts

The federal government (plaintiff) prosecuted Randy Denjen (defendant) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Denjen pleaded guilty to the charge of compelling a federal prisoner to engage in sexual contact by force or threat. Denjen had been a police lieutenant in charge of guards at the penal facility where the female victim was held in solitary confinement while awaiting sentencing on a federal drug charge. Denjen was almost a foot taller and 179 pounds heavier than the woman. Prior to sentencing, Denjen allocuted that he placed the woman in fear that he would increase the severity or length of her confinement if she did not submit to having sex with him. At the ensuing sentencing hearing, the woman testified that she did not resist Denjen or try to escape because his aggressive behavior made her fear that he might kill her, and because Denjen used his enormous size advantage to hold her in place and trap her in her tiny cell. The woman did not cry for help because she thought no one could hear her screams, and that even if they did, Denjen's position of authority would discourage guards from rescuing her. Denjen argued that he did not physically restrain the woman, that she could have escaped because he left her cell unlocked during each attack, and that the woman's prior conviction for assaulting a larger woman showed that she could at least have attempted to repel his assaults. The judge considered the government's motion for an enhanced sentence.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gershon, J.)

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