Sentence upheld in child prostitution case
CHICAGO – A federal appeals court recently ruled that the 10-year prison sentence imposed on a Reedsburg man convicted of a child prostitution charge was not based on speculation.
U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments that the sentencing judge did not fully consider the mental health treatment Alexander Kluball would receive in prison would allow him to be law abiding when released.
Kluball, 26, admitted to using Facebook messages to solicit a Tennessee teenager to work as a prostitute in July 2015. Kluball went to the girl’s town and brought her back to Madison where he featured her in ads on a sex-for-sale website.
The girl had sex eight times with strangers responding to the ads during a four-day span. She gave Kluball 50 percent of the proceeds if she had sex with him, 60 percent if she did not, Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Pfluger said during sentencing in April 2016.
Disgusted with how Kluball treated her, the girl eventually left with a “trick.”
Kluball called the girl’s mother and learned her daughter was 17. Worried he would be prosecuted for transporting a minor across to have sex, Kluball phoned Reedsburg police, saying he kicked her out for “smoking too much weed,” Pfluger said.
An investigation followed resulting in the search of Kluball’s residence and his arrest on the charge he had been concerned about.
Kluball pleaded guilty to a transporting charge and was sentenced by District Judge James Peterson to the maximum term in prison followed by 20 years on supervised release.
On appeal, his attorney argued that his client was entitled to be sentenced on accurate information and claimed Peterson speculated that the mental health treatment Kluball would get in prison would not be effective in keeping him from re-offending after serving his sentence.
Kluball struggled with mental illnesses and associated behavioral problems from early childhood beginning with getting kicked out of 21 daycare facilities. He also had threatened to kill his parents, threated to stab his foster parents, was expelled from high school and in turn was threatened by the person who killed Weston High School Principal John Klang in 2006. His problems factored into his discharge from the military and he was fired from several jobs.
Kluball’s attorney, Peter Moyers, argued that the information available to Peterson at sentencing did not permit the judge to conclude there is no treatment available to Kluball that would have an impact on his ability to behave lawfully after prison. That erroneous conclusion violated Kluball’s right to due process argued Moyers, who sought a five-year sentence.
The opinion states that Moyers failed to show Peterson used inaccurate information to reach his sentence and properly reached his conclusion based on Kluball’s past.
The court found that Peterson knew Kluball had been hospitalized every few years throughout his life, was treated with several drugs and received counseling in a variety of settings. Despite this background,
Kluball “has consistently engaged in dangerous and unlawful behavior,” according to the opinion.
“Sentencing routinely requires the judge to make predictions about the defendant’s future conduct and, in particular, his ability to lead a law-abiding life,” according to the eight-page opinion issued Dec. 13.
Moyers was unavailable Tuesday for comment.
Kluball is an inmate at a federal prison in Pekin, Illinois and has a release date of Sept. 9, 2024, according to online records.