The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday a Utah federal court judge erred in allowing a sentencing penalty to be assessed for both physical restraint and use of force in an aggravated sexual abuse case.
The court directed U.S. District Court Judge Ted Stewart to use a correct "starting point" to resentence Cynthia Bitsuie Jones and Johnson Joe , who participated in the brutal beating and sexual assault of a woman near the Navajo reservation in December 2009.
Both Jones and Joe pleaded guilty to a single charge of aggravated sexual abuse in the case. Their pre-sentence reports recommended an increase in the offense level because force was used in the attack and the victim's serious injuries. The reports also recommended an additional increase in the offense level for Jones because she helped restrain the victim during the attack.