United States v. Pendleton, No. 10-1818 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Defendant boarded a plane in New York City and flew to Hamburg. Six months after his arrival in Germany, he sexually molested a 15-year-old boy. After serving 19 months in a German prison, defendant returned to the United States and was convicted of engaging in noncommercial illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place (18 U.S.C. 2423(c) and (f)(1)) and sentenced to 30 years in prison. The Third Circuit affirmed. The offense began when defendant boarded a plane, but the bulk of the offense was not committed in any district in the United States, so venue was proper in the Delaware district where the arrest occurred. Rejecting a facial challenge to the statute, the court stated that the statute is within the authority of Congress under the Foreign Commerce Clause.