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Criminal and Elections Cases

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By FindLaw Staff on March 15, 2010 12:38 PM

In US v. Frank, No. 07-13685, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's conviction for traveling and engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors.  The court held that 1) the district court did not err in denying defendant's motion to suppress defendant's non-Mirandized statements to Cambodian officials because the statements did not fall under the joint venture doctrine; 2) 18 U.S.C. section 2251A applied extraterritorially to reach defendant's conduct; 3) defendant's statement that the minor girls came to his hotel "for the pictures and to have sex together," taken into account with the other evidence presented, allowed the jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant engaged in illicit sexual conduct; and 4) the term "purchase," as used in 18 U.S.C. section 2251A(b), covered situations where a defendant pays a minor directly for sex.

Dermer v. Miami-Dade Cty., No. 08-15061, involved a First Amendment challenge to a county ordinance prohibiting any false statement concerning the contents or effect of any petition for initiative, referendum, or recall.  The court of appeals reversed partial summary judgment for plaintiff on the grounds that 1) plaintiff lacked standing to challenge the ordinance because he failed to submit any detail, such as when, where, or how he intended to exercise his right to free speech in the future, that illuminated the specifics of his claimed injury; and 2) plaintiff's claim was not ripe because his allegations contained no factual specificity and, therefore, did not demonstrate a credible threat of prosecution.

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