GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

May 22, 2013

Court error sparked reduced kid porn sentence

By Marjorie Nesin
Staff Writer

---- — The sentences handed down to a Gloucester woman and her boyfriend for sexually abusing the woman’s 8-year-old daughter, were reduced as the result of new trials, with the former verdicts thrown out and each defendant still pleading guilty but with lesser sentences, court records show.

Kendra D’Andrea, then of Veterans Way, appealed the initial ruling while serving her 27-year sentence in federal prison, as did her then-boyfriend, Willie Jordan, served 30 years. She now faces 15 years in prison and he was ordered to serve 28.

A judge threw out the initial U.S. District Court ruling in May 2011, granting the retrial that led to reduced sentences.

According to court records, the pair had been arrested after a third person reported to authorities that the two were taking turns in the sexual abuse of D’Andrea’s daughter and taking photos of the abuse with a cellphone camera. D’Andrea confessed to police that the photos were uploaded on a Sprint PCS website where Jordan would access them while traveling for his job as a truck driver.

Records show that agents at the DSS had accessed the password-protected site after multiple attempts to logon with the help of the reporting third party. The Department of Social Services agent printed the images and some messages before obtaining a warrant to search D’Andrea’s and Jordan’s property. After the warrant was granted, police raided the house, finding a cellular phone, which contained some nude images of the young girl.

The two had been granted retrials, after appealing on the grounds that the court had refused to grant evidentiary hearings on request to suppress certain information.

They had alleged that the DSS agent’s accessing the website violated their fourth amendment right that protects people from unreasonable search and seizure. They had requested the court suppress any evidence obtained based on the website photos should be thrown out too, calling that information “fruit from a poisonous tree.”

The U.S. District Court had turned down that theory without holding an evidentiary hearing on the matter. That refusal of an evidentiary hearing, however, then led to the courts tossing out the U.S. District Court verdict and retrying the case.

The court retried the case, as written in a finding, “because our holding that the district court erred in denying defendants’ motions to suppress without an evidentiary hearing.”

D’Andrea took a plea agreement in her new trial in March of this year, agreeing to confess guilt on all counts and forfeit her right of further appeal for a lessened sentence.

”Based on defendant’s prompt acceptance of personal responsibility for the offenses of conviction in this case, and information known to the U.S. Attorney at this time, the U.S. Attorney agrees to recommend that the Court reduce by three levels Defendant’s Adjusted Offense Level,” the plea agreement states. In exchange, the prosecutor in U.S. District Court, the U.S. Attorney, reduced the offense level, proposing incarceration for a minimum period of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years for D’Andrea.

D’Andrea’s court-appointed attorney Page Kelley did not return calls for comment Tuesday.

Jordan’s case was also retried, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office recommended that the court impose the full sentence that it had previously imposed on Jordan in his case.

”There have been no material changes in the facts or the law regarding sentencing issues pertinent to Defendant. As such the foundation of the Court’s prior determination on an appropriate sentence remains the same,” U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz wrote in a case memorandum.

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at mnesin@gloucestertimes.com.