Sex Offender granted compassionate release by a judge

May 5, 2021

Sex Offender Compassionate Release

United States v. Zupnik

United States District Court for the District of South Dakota, Western Division

2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85643

Sex offender with Cancer diagnosis released with treatment cited as major factor in granting of compassionate release

On April 26, 2019, Joel Zupnik was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 120 months for attempted enticement of a minor using the internet. The court sentenced Zupnik to the mandated minimum sentence of 120 months, followed by five years of supervised release. Zupnik, who is 55 years old, filed an emergency motion for release in order to facilitate cancer treatments for Stage IIIC Anal Cancer.

Based on the stage of his condition, Zupnik was assessed as having a 65 percent rate of recovery with proper treatment. His treatment plan consisted of a six-week course of chemotherapy and radiation, and his post treatment monitoring plan included follow up evaluations and testing every three months for the first two years and every six months for an additional three years. Zupnik completed his course of chemotherapy and radiation and currently is convalescing at home.

Zupnik filed for compassionate release on the basis of extraordinary and compelling reasons in light of his stage IIIC anal cancer, the inability to receive the treatment and monitoring that is required while incarcerated and the threat incarceration poses to his health in his immunocompromised state during the COVID-19 pandemic. Zupnik argues his release is consistent with the 3553(a) sentencing factors because (1) he is not a danger to the community; (2) the period of incarceration he served and the conditions of that incarceration provided just punishment and adequate deterrence; and (3) his potential further criminality is low. If his motion is granted, Mr. Zupnik plans to live at his residence in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

The court concluded that Zupnik’s time in custody was sufficient to adequately deter him from future criminal conduct, particularly in light of his unaddressed medical needs. Zupnik will be on supervised release for five years and the special conditions of his supervision require him to comply with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. The government’s concerns that Zupnik has not served enough of his sentence in custody will be addressed through conditions of supervised release which includes imposing a period of two years of home confinement. Zupnik will face harsh consequences if he violates those conditions or the other standard and special conditions of his supervised release.

Brandon Sample can help with sex offender compassionate release.