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United States v. Sheldon

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

April 9, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
KEVIN MICHAEL SHELDON, Defendant-Appellant

Submitted, Seattle, Washington: August 26, 2013, [*]

Petition for certiorari filed at, 07/07/2014

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.

Anthony R. Gallagher, David F. Ness, Federal Defenders, Great Falls, Montana, for Defendant-Appellant.

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

Before: Michael Daly Hawkins, M. Margaret McKeown, and Richard R. Clifton, Circuit Judges. Order; Opinion by Judge Clifton.

OPINION

ORDER

Richard R. Clifton, Judge.

Appellant's motion for appropriate relief, filed March 11, 2014, seeks to give appellant an opportunity to file a petition for writ of certiorari. We find that extraordinary circumstances warrant such relief, see Wilkins v. United States, 441 U.S. 468, 469-70, 99 S.Ct. 1829, 60 L.Ed.2d 365 (1979), and we grant the motion.

The mandate is recalled. Our opinion is vacated and ordered reissued in its original form as of today's date.

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 a rational jury to find him guilty. Those arguments lack merit. We affirm.

I. Background

Defendant Sheldon lived with family members in Montana. In September 2011, Defendant was told to move out of the family home because he had inappropriately touched a minor child. Shortly thereafter, the minor child's video recorder was found to contain several videos of children naked, showering, and, in one instance, pretending to perform oral sex on a teddy bear. The police were called and obtained a warrant for Defendant's home. Police ...


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