United States v. Rouse, No. 18-2554 (8th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction to one count of distribution of child pornography. The court held that the statute of conviction, 18 U.S.C. 2252A(a)(2), as constitutionally applied to him, did not violate his rights under the First and Fifth Amendments.
The court rejected defendant's contention that the statute unconstitutionally violated defendant's First Amendment right to free speech, because child pornography is categorically excluded from protection under the First Amendment. The court also rejected defendant's contention that the statute violated a right o privacy or sexual intimacy under the Fifth Amendment. The court held in United States v. Bach, 400 F.3d 622, 629 (8th Cir. 2005), that the Due Process Clause as interpreted in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), did not prevent a prosecution for transmitting a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, even though the conduct was not criminal.