USA V. CARSTEN ROSENOW, No. 20-50052 (9th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Defendant was arrested returning from the Philippines, where he engaged in sex tourism involving minors. He was convicted and sentenced on one count of attempted sexual of a child and one count of possession of sexually explicit images of children. Defendant arranged these activities through online messaging services provided by electronic service providers ("ESPs") Yahoo and Facebook. On appeal, Defendant argued that the evidence seized from his electronic devices should have been suppressed because, among other reasons, Yahoo and Facebook were government actors and violated his Fourth Amendment rights when they investigated his accounts without a warrant and reported the evidence. He further argued that the district court improperly instructed the jury on the required mental state for his sexual exploitation charge and miscalculated the sentence on his possession charge.
The Ninth Circuit affirmed Defendant’s conviction and sentence. The court rejected Defendant’s arguments and held that the government’s requests that Yahoo preserve records related to Defendant’s private communications did not amount to an unreasonable seizure. Further, Defendant did not have a legitimate expectation of privacy in the limited digital data sought in the government’s subpoenas. The court also held that the affidavit established a fair probability that child pornography would be found on the defendant’s electronic devices. Finally, the court held that there was no impermissible double counting in this case, as the enhancements were premised on separate exploitative acts.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on October 3, 2022.