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United States v. Sheldon

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

September 19, 2013

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Kevin Michael Sheldon, Defendant-Appellant

Submitted August 26, 2013[*]Seattle, Washington

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Montana D.C. No. 6:12-cr-00010-CCL-1 Charles C. Lovell, Senior District Judge, Presiding

COUNSEL

David F. Ness, Assistant Federal Defender, Great Falls, Montana, for Defendant-Appellant.

Cyndee Peterson, Assistant United States Attorney, Missoula, Montana, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Before: Michael Daly Hawkins, M. Margaret McKeown, and Richard R. Clifton, Circuit Judges.

SUMMARY[**]

Criminal Law

Affirming a conviction for sexual exploitation of a child and knowingly receiving child pornography, the panel held that 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a) does not require the government to prove that the defendant had knowledge that the materials used to produce child pornography had traveled in interstate commerce.

The panel held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the defendant's prior conviction for possession of child pornography and that a rational jury could conclude that the videos introduced at trial depicted sexually explicit conduct.

OPINION

CLIFTON, Circuit Judge:

Defendant Kevin Michael Sheldon appeals the jury verdict finding him guilty of sexual exploitation of a child in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a) and knowingly receiving child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(2). He argues that the district court erred in its interpretation of § 2251(a) because the court did not require the Government to prove his knowledge of the interstate nature of his crime. Our court has never directly addressed whether § 2251(a) requires that the defendant have knowledge that the materials used to produce child pornography had traveled in interstate commerce. We hold that the statute contains no such requirement.

Defendant also contends that the district court abused its discretion at trial when the court admitted evidence of his prior conviction for possession of child pornography, and that his sexual exploitation of a child conviction must be set aside because the evidence was insufficient for ...


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