United States v. Carlocito Slim, No. 21-2693 (8th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Defendant was convicted of attempted commercial sex trafficking of a minor, 18 U.S.C. Sections 1591(a)(1), (b)(2), and 1594(a), and attempted enticement of a minor for sexual activity using a facility of interstate commerce, 18 U.S.C. Section 2422(b). Defendant appealed the denial of his motion to suppress and his conviction on numerous grounds.
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling and denied Defendant's motion to suppress and affirmed his conviction. Defendant argued that law enforcement’s warrantless arrest violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable seizures. The court held that a reasonable person could believe Defendant committed or was committing a crime and the facts sufficiently establish probable cause to believe that Defendant was attempting to commit sex trafficking crimes. Defendant further argued that his indictment was insufficient because he contends his crimes cannot be based on a non-existent victim. The court held that caselaw states a defendant may commit both attempted commercial sex trafficking of a minor and attempted enticement of a minor for sexual activity using a facility of interstate commerce. Next, Defendant argued insufficient evidence supported either conviction. Here, the evidence sufficiently showed Defendant’s subjective intent to engage in a commercial sex act with someone he believed to be a minor. Moreover, the evidence showed Defendant knowingly used two facilities of interstate commerce, to try to entice a fictitious minor female to engage in illegal sexual activity and then took a substantial step toward committing the offense by driving to the meeting spot.
Court Description: [Grasz, Author, with Stras and Kobes, Circuit Judges] Criminal case - Criminal law. Police had probable cause to arrest defendant without a warrant based on their belief that he was in process of committing a sex trafficking crime; officers properly searched defendant's car for evidence of the offense as a search incident to his arrest; under Eighth Circuit precedents an indictment for sex trafficking and attempted enticement can be based on a non-existent victim; the evidence was sufficient to support defendant's convictions for attempted commercial sex trafficking of a minor and attempted enticement of a minor for sexual activity using a facility of interstate commerce; any alleged error in the district court's decision not to permit defendant's prior attorney to testify that defendant told him he was only seeking a massage was harmless.