United States v. Laursen, No. 14-30244 (9th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Defendant, a 45-year-old man, was convicted of production and possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2251(a) after he took sexually explicit photos of a 16-year-old girl (J.B.). The court adopted the plain meaning of the term "use," and agreed with the district court that the evidence presented by the government sufficiently established that defendant used or employed J.B. to produce sexually explicit images. The court found defendant's theory that he was not the man depicted in the photographs unconvincing where, among other things, J.B. identified defendant as the man in the photographs and testified that no one else took the photos. Therefore, there was sufficient evidence to support the guilty verdict. The court concluded that, although defendant's sexual relationship with J.B. was legal in Washington, the production of pornography stemming from that relationship was not. The court rejected defendant's constitutional challenges of overbreadth, vagueness, violation of the Tenth Amendment, and violation of the Commerce Clause. Finally, the court rejected defendant's evidentiary challenges. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.