United States v. Zam Mung, No. 19-2798 (8th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Defendant was convicted of attempted commercial sex trafficking of a minor and sentenced to 120 months' imprisonment. The district court also imposed a $5,000 special assessment.
The Eighth Circuit concluded that defendant did not raise his objection to the indictment in the district court proceedings and had failed to demonstrate good cause for his failure to timely object to the indictment. Even if he could show good cause, the court would review his argument under the same plain error standard with which the court reviewed his challenge to the jury instructions. In this case, defendant failed to show the district court obviously erred by applying the reckless-disregard standard. The court held that it was proper to use the reckless-disregard standard because defendant was convicted for attempting to recruit, entice, obtain, patronize, or solicit a minor for a commercial act. The court also held that the district court did not err by using the label "sex trafficking" when describing the charged crime to the jury in Instruction No. 4. Finally, the $5,000 special assessment was properly imposed where defendant failed to show he had the inability to pay the assessment.