Federal, state prosecutors team up for 45 year sentence in sex assault

Friday, February 26, 2016

A Hennepin County District Court judge called Curtis Allen Cannon’s acts abhorrent and agreed with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office that he should get a long sentence and run it consecutive with a federal prison term.

As a result, the 22-year-old Minneapolis man was sentenced to 45 years in prison for sexually assaulting his infant daughter and producing child pornography.

Last month, Cannon was sentenced to 300 months in federal prison on the child pornography crimes. Thursday, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Cheri Townsend asked Hennepin County District Court Judge Daniel Mabley to double the sentence called for by the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines to 288 months and run them on top of the federal sentence. Mabley sentenced Cannon to 250 months in state prison after he serves his federal time.

“This is one of the most repulsive cases this office has seen,” Deputy Hennepin County Attorney David Brown said. “If anyone deserves to spend most of his life in prison, it is Mr. Cannon and we appreciate the fact that Judge Mabley agreed with our position. We also appreciate the fine work of our law enforcement partners.”

One of those partners was the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Assistant United States Attorney Laura Provinzino, who prosecuted the case in federal court and watched as Mabley pronounced the sentence in state court. 

“Curtis Cannon sexually assaulted a six-month old baby and took pictures to memorialize the abuse,” Provinzino said. “This case is testament to the successful collaboration between local and federal law enforcement. Working together, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Minneapolis Police Department, FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office have today ensured that Cannon will spend the next four decades behind bars. Children in Minnesota are safer as a result.”

Cannon was charged in state court in September 2014, following a joint investigation by Minneapolis Police and the FBI. The federal case proceeded first and Cannon pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography in January 2015. In May 2015, Cannon pleaded guilty in state court to the single count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and admitted to the aggravating circumstances of being in a position of trust over the victim and vulnerability of his daughter because of her age.

Agreeing to those aggravating circumstances allowed Mabley to sentence Cannon to a term much higher than recommended by the sentencing guidelines.

According to the criminal complaint, Cannon sexually assaulted his daughter, who was barely six months old and videotaped what he was doing. He admitted taking the video because he was pressured by people on a chat website to do so.
 
Townsend said that was another reason to imprison Cannon for a long time because “he is apparently unable to say no to even the slightest pressure.”

Judge Mabley was appalled by the crimes, but also by a conversation Cannon had with a former girlfriend.

“That you would create a new life just so it can become a victim is abhorrent,” he told Cannon.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)