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Conviction and Sentence for Knowingly Crossing State Line with Intent to Engage in Sexual Act

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By FindLaw Staff on June 03, 2010 1:35 PM

Ward v. U.S. Atty. Gen., No. 09-11349, concerned an action seeking declaratory relief and a writ of mandamus requiring defendants to allow plaintiff to file a DS-230 application for immigrant visa status.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendants, holding that the death of a primary-beneficiary parent extinguishes his child's right to his immigrant visa status.

In US v. Farley, No. 08-15882, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for knowingly crossing "a State line" with intent to engage in a sexual act with a person under the age of twelve, on the grounds that 1) the First Amendment did not protect his sexually explicit conversations with an undercover officer who pretended to be offering her daughter for sex; 2) defendant's conviction turned on the criminal intent with which he acted, not on the existence of an actual child; 3) even if the FBI did trick defendant into thinking their investigation was about terrorism, there was no evidence they made any promise that questioning would be limited to that subject, or gave him any assurance that statements relating to other crimes would not be used against him; and 4) there was evidence sufficient for a reasonable factfinder to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  However, the court vacated defendant's sentence, holding that the thirty-year statutory mandatory minimum sentence imposed on defendant was not constitutionally disproportionate.

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