Friday, July 08, 2011

Ladies and Gentleman, we have a new acronym!

CEE: Child Exploitation Enterprise

In United States v. Daniels, 09-1386, the Sixth Circuit addressed 18 U.S.C. 2252A(g)(2) for the first time.

Daniels was convicted of running a prostitution ring in Detroit. He used adult women and juvenile girls, bringing some in from out of state and advertising their services on various internet sites.

The Court held CEE has three elements that must be proven:
1) the defendant committed at least three predicate offenses;
2) more than one underage victim was involved; and
3) at least three other people acted "in concert" with the defendant on the predicate offenses.

Having already upheld four predicate offense convictions, the Court found the first element was met. Several prostitutes testified they were underage at the time they worked for Daniels, so the second element was also met.

The third element failed. Three people need not be working together simultaneously, but they do need to be working in furtherance of the predicate offenses during the "series of felony violations." Thus, co-defendant Head, who helped coordinate prostitutes and post ads, counted. "Trouble," a prostitute who accompanied Daniels and Head when they picked up a juvenile prostitute in Maryland and spoke with the juvenile about her work also counted. Daniels's brother, who rented hotel rooms for the prostitutes, and his mother, who occasionally provided rides to Head and other prostitutes, did not count (likely because they were not explicitly acting in furtherance of the charged predicate offenses). Because Daniels only had two people acting in concert with him, he could not be convicted of CEE.

This opinion is worth a read/save for several other points:

It reitterates the six ways a photo of a child could be "lascivious"

2252A(a)(2)(A), which bans distribution of any child porn that has been transported through interstate commerce, is met by the two-stage posting process on Craigs List. The image was first transported in interstate commerce when the post was created. It was then distributed after the person posting replied to the confirmation email and the post then appeared on Craigs List.

2423(a)(transporting a minor to engage in sexual activity) does not require "knowing" the victim is under 18

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