United States v. Mack Doak

USCA11 Case: 19-15106 Date Filed: 09/07/2022 Page: 1 of 35 [PUBLISH] In the United States Court of Appeals For the Eleventh Circuit ____________________ No. 19-15106 ____________________ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee-Cross Appellant, versus MACK DOAK, Defendant-Appellant, JAYCEE DOAK, Defendant-Appellant-Cross Appellee. ____________________ Appeals from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama D.C. Docket No. 1:18-cr-00242-KD-B-1 ____________________ USCA11 Case: 19-15106 Date Filed: 09/07/2022 Page: 2 of 35 2 Opinion of the Court 19-15106 Before GRANT, LUCK, and HULL, Circuit Judges. GRANT, Circuit Judge: Mack Doak was convicted by a jury of transporting his three adopted daughters across state lines so that he could sexually abuse them. From the time he adopted the girls until family members finally reported him five years later he subjected them to relentless abuse. Mack’s wife Jaycee knew what he was doing. Her adopted daughters confided in her after Mack abused them, but she refused to help. She denied their allegations. She also yelled at the girls, blamed them for the abuse, and helped Mack travel across the country to keep his acts hidden. The jury convicted her of aiding and abetting. The Doaks make an across-the-board effort to challenge their convictions, claiming that their indictment was flawed and that several evidentiary errors infected the trial. Mack also challenges the district court’s restitution calculation and its finding that he could afford a special assessment. On cross-appeal, the government argues that Jaycee’s sentence—the statutory minimum—was substantively unreasonable. Other than the restitution order, which we partially vacate, we affirm the Doaks’ convictions and sentences. I. The tragic history of the Doak family began in Rhode Island, where 27-year-old Mack Doak met 18-year-old Jaycee Thet. USCA11 Case: 19-15106 Date Filed: 09/07/2022 Page: 3 of 35 19-15106 Opinion of the Court 3 Despite the age gap, the two began a romantic relationship. Mack’s interests, however, extended beyond Jaycee. While at work as a city bus driver, he had his eyes set on one of his regular passengers: 14-year-old Nicole. 1 Mack eventually introduced himself to Nicole and became very attentive, lavishing her with gifts on Valentine’s Day and taking her to Boston for dinner. Nicole (unaware of Mack’s relationship with Jaycee) came to believe that she was Mack’s girlfriend—and that she owed him physical intimacy. She began having sex with him almost every time they met, but then Jaycee and Nicole learned about each other. Mack told Jaycee that he planned to leave her for 14-year-old Nicole, but Jaycee got Nicole’s father involved. Nicole ended her relationship with Mack, but she never reported Mack to the police. Around the same time, Jaycee gave birth to the couple’s first daughter. Meanwhile, Mack also used his relationship with Jaycee to get closer to her younger sister Natalie, who was in elementary school. After Natalie turned ten or eleven, Mack began groping her—constantly touching “anything that he could”—including her breasts, her buttocks, and her genitals. The abuse progressed over several years until one day, when Natalie was laying on the couch …

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