Sun, Sept. 15

Judge Bluff denies motion that consecutive sentencing in child porn case is unconstitutional

Samir Mahmoud Wadi

Samir Mahmoud Wadi

CAMP VERDE -- Samir Mahmoud Wadi, 43, was snatched-up by federal agents in New Mexico as he attempted to flee the United States to Jordan in late September. Charged with 12 counts possessing or transferring child porn, Wadi had been free on a $30,000 bond when he attempted to board the plane in Albuquerque.

Wadi had been investigated in the Verde Valley case by Homeland Security Investigations.

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff ruled Monday to deny the motion filed by Wadi attorney Bruce Blumberg that the provision under which his client was charged was "unconstitutional."

ARS 13-705(M) states in part: "The sentence imposed on a person for any other dangerous crime against children in the first or second degree shall be consecutive to any other sentence imposed on the person at any time, including child molestation and sexual abuse of the same victim."

In Wadi's case, with 12 instances of child porn, if sentenced to a presumptive sentence of 20 years for each Class-2 felony, for example, and the sentence was served consecutively, the resulting sentence is equivalent to a life term.

Should the cases return to a settlement conference, said Blumberg, he would ask for either Judge Tina Ainley or Jennifer Campbell to hear the case.

Deputy District Attorney Mike Morrison said he had mailed Blumberg a plea agreement, which included a significant reduction in terms of five years.

Judge Bluff set a new appearance date for April 26 to determine if the plea was successful.

If not, he said he would set a trial at that time.

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