Three months after an appeals court ruled his original sentence of six months home detention was too lenient, a 59-year-old New York man involved in an Internet sex case was resentenced to a prison term yesterday in federal court in Baltimore.
U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson sentenced Georges Debier to 12 months in prison, but gave the former Belgian consulate credit for the time he served on home detention, effectively cutting his prison time in half.
Nickerson also sentenced Debier to two years supervised release on his conviction of crossing state lines to have sex with a minor.
Debier's attorney, chief assistant federal public defender Beth M. Farber, said she would almost certainly appeal the new sentence, saying her client should also have been credited with the 5 1/2 months probation he had served since his original November 1998 sentencing.
Debier pleaded guilty in the case. But when Nickerson sentenced him to six months home detention, rather than the 12- to 18-month sentence called for under federal guidelines, the U.S. Attorney's Office appealed, saying the case underscored the need for judges to take seriously undercover stings, particularly in sex cases.
At yesterday's hearing, Farber argued that Debier should not be put in jail because he had made extraordinary progress in court-ordered therapy in the last year and because he is not a compulsive sex offender.
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg told the court that "imprisonment is appropriate."