The Fourth Department determined defendant in this child pornography case established mitigating circumstances that warranted a downward departure of the risk level to level one:
We agree with defendant … that he established by a preponderance of the evidence that there are other mitigating factors that were “not otherwise adequately taken into account by the guidelines” … . Defendant established that he suffered from a rare, congenital disease that resulted in significant disfigurement and medical issues, requiring numerous surgeries throughout his life. Defendant was bullied as a child, primarily due to his disfigurement and, as a result, was socially isolated, having no significant peer relationships. Defendant has only one prior crime on his record, a misdemeanor for which he was referred to Mental Health Court, and, in the case at hand, the court sentenced him to probation pursuant to the People’s recommendation, thus indicating that defendant does not pose a significant threat to the community. We also note that defendant will be under supervision by the Probation Department for 10 years.
As a result of the depression and related mental health issues that flowed from such a difficult childhood, defendant turned to alcohol and drugs, some of which had been properly prescribed to him following many of his surgeries. Defendant’s use of child pornography generally occurred while he was under the influence of drugs. Inasmuch as defendant was sentenced to a 10-year term of probation, which would ensure that he continued to participate in all of his treatment programs, we conclude that, in light of the totality of the circumstances, a downward departure to risk level one is warranted in the exercise of our discretion … . People v Morana, 2021 NY Slip Op 05188, Fourth Dept 10-1-21