6th Circuit: Knowledge of a minor’s age is not an element of the federal offense of producing child pornography and defendant is not entitled to a mistake-of-age defense
U.S. v. Humphrey, Nos. 08-5850/5867, 608 F.3d 955 (6th Cir. June 11, 2010 )
Knowledge of a minor’s age is not an element of the federal offense of producing child pornography and a defendant is not entitled to a mistake-of-age defense.
Before Suhrheinrich, McKeague, and Griffin, Circuit Judges. An excerpt from the unanimous panel opinion by Judge Griffin:
Defendant Roy Humphrey was convicted by a jury of one count of producing child pornography, in violation of18 U.S.C. § 2251(a), and one forfeiture count under 18 U.S.C. § 2253. In this appeal, he contends that the district court abused its discretion in (1) granting the prosecution’s motion in limine to preclude the admission of evidence regarding Humphrey’s knowledge of the victim’s minority, thereby preventing Humphrey’s presentation of a mistake-of-age defense to the charge under 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a) . . . For the reasons that follow, we affirm. Humphrey . . . argues that the district court erred in granting the government’s motion in limine, thereby improperly preventing him from raising a mistake-of-age defense to the charge brought under 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a). Relying upon United States v. United States District Court, 858 F.2d 534 (9th Cir.1988), Humphrey maintains that such a defense is constitutionally mandated under the First Amendment . . .
Analyzing and citing various federal precedents, the court concluded that a defendant’s knowledge of a minor’s age is not an element of the offense. Therefore, Humphrey is not entitled to the defense.