United States v. Al-Awadi, No. 16-2643 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Soon after he began working at a daycare, other teachers expressed concern about 20‐year‐old Al‐Awadi’s interactions with female children. Al‐Awadi was cautioned about his behavior. On a day when the daycare was shorthanded, Al-Awadi, the only adult in a room of napping children, pulled back the underwear of a girl and took pictures. He put his finger in her vagina. The girl woke up and complained to another teacher. She was later examined by a physician, who discounted Al-Awadi’s claim that the girl injured herself on his watch while she was playing on his lap and he was checking for injury. The Seventh Circuit affirmed his convictions for making and attempting to make child pornography, rejecting arguments concerning evidence that Al‐Awadi digitally penetrated the girl, an uncharged act. The “more likely than not” pattern jury instruction accurately told the jury how to assess evidence of acts other than charged crimes. The jury was also instructed that the government had to prove the elements of charged crimes beyond a reasonable doubt. Evidence of the molestation was permissible because Al-Awadi placed his intent in taking the pictures at issue. Sufficient evidence supported the conclusion that Al‐ Awadi used the girl to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the conduct.