United States v. Smith, No. 18-1109 (1st Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The First Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court denying Defendant’s motion to suppress and sentencing Defendant, holding that the evidence was not obtained in violation of Defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights and that Defendant was properly sentenced.
Defendant was convicted for producing six videos depicting him sexually assaulting a three-year-old child. Defendant appealed the denial of his motion to suppress evidence recovered from his residence and statements he made to law enforcement at his residence and during a later interrogation. The district court concluded that Defendant knowingly and voluntarily consented to the search of his residence and that there was no Fourth Amendment violation. At sentencing, Defendant argued that the charges were multiplicitous because the videos were taken during one continuous sexual assault. The district court disagreed and sentenced Defendant to a fifty-year term of imprisonment. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) even assuming that law enforcement committed a Fourth Amendment violation before encountering Defendant, any prior illegality did not influence Defendant’s subsequent consent to the search of his computer and hard drives, and Defendant’s consent to the search was knowing and voluntary; and (2) the proper unit of prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 2251(a), the federal child pornography statute, is each video depicting the victim.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on March 21, 2019.