United States v. Haines, No. 17-10059 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed defendant's convictions for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, sex trafficking of a minor, conspiracy to transport a minor to engage in prostitution, and transporting a minor to engage in prostitution. The panel held that the district court did not err by excluding testimony regarding one of the victim's prior prostitution activities. In this case, defendant cited no case holding that a defense such as the one he sought to present here triggers the exception in Federal Rule of Evidence 42. The panel saw no reason to depart from the persuasive authorities that held to the contrary.
However, the panel held that the applicability of Rule 412 should not depend on the alleged victim's desire to testify. The panel held that, even if the district court misapplied Rule 412, any error would be harmless. Finally, the panel considered defendant's additional arguments that the government opened the door to testimony about the victim's activities and held that they lacked merit.