Home > News > Court Doesn’t Buy Pedophile’s First Amendment Claim • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

Court Doesn’t Buy Pedophile’s First Amendment Claim

Court Doesn’t Buy Pedophile’s First Amendment Claim
Get XBIZ News
Apr 20, 2004 8:05 AM PDT    Text size: 
SAN FRANCISCO - In a novel case which tests rights of pedophile stalkers on the Internet, a federal appeals court ruled Monday that a defendant who solicits a minor to engage in sexual activity can be convicted even though his accuser is not an actual minor.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals looked at a challenge by Jeffery Meek, who appealed the legality of a search of his online records at America Online, as well as the search of his home, computer and vehicle.

The court was asked to decide whether a California law applies where the person believed to be a minor is actually an adult police detective posing as the minor and, if so, whether the statute is unconstitutional.

The 9th Circuit rejected challenges to search warrants and affirmed the conviction of Meek of committing a lewd or lascivious act on a child under 14 years of age.

California investigators in Walnut Creek and San Jose began a joint investigation into child exploitation following the discovery of photographs of a 14-year-old boy engaged in sexual acts in 1999.

Through cooperative efforts, the officers were able to locate and interview the boy and his father. The boy told police that the photographs were taken during a sexual encounter with a man who contacted him in an Internet chat room.

Upon learning of the situation, the victim’s father allowed detectives to transport the family computer to the police department for further investigation. The father provided permission to access his son’s AOL account, and the boy provided the detectives with the password.

Two weeks later, the father gave the detectives written permission to use his son’s AOL account and to assume the son’s identity in instant messenger conversations.

After accessing the computer, police received an email from someone with the screen name “Capnjeffry,” who was listed in the boy’s AOL instant messenger buddy list.

In the email, Capnjeffry indicated that he had communicated with the boy in the past, stated that he would “still be interested in hooking up some time,” and provided his phone number.

After several weeks of sexually graphic conversation with detectives who posed as the boy, he was arrested.

Meek argued that his communication with the minor was protected under the First Amendment despite the fact that he was conversing with police detectives.

The court didn’t buy the free-speech defense.

“Meek overstates the potential for constitutional problems because the intent to engage in criminal sexual conduct — which does not enjoy First Amendment protection—is a crucial component of the criminal liability,” the court wrote. “Thus, applying the cases to cases involving an undercover agent does not render the statute overbroad under the First Amendment.”

The case is U.S. vs. Meek, No. 03-10042.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

LEGAL PERSPECTIVES

Data Privacy Is Tightening Up in the E.U.

Have you begun preparing for GDPR? If you are like most, you haven’t even heard of GDPR, but also if you are like most, it is going to affect your business, starting May 25, 2018. The GDPR, or General... More »

Preventing Legal Problems Before They Start

Dentists typically recommend that a person’s teeth be cleaned every six months and that oral X-rays be taken at least once every year. Internists recommend that a person receive a physical examination... More »

Could Adult Content Be Banned?

Earlier this month, I met with the Free Speech Coalition’s board of directors for our annual review. Despite the headwinds our industry faces, politically and economically, we are, as an organization,... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ Premiere magazine, the industry's leading adult retail trade publications, delivering the most timely and comprehensive business news and information to producers and retailers of adult products.

UPCOMING EVENTS

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida

XShow 18+ 2017

Jun 01 - Jun 03
Moscow, Russia

Cam Summit

Jun 02 - Jun 04
Lloret de Mar, Spain
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!