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United States v. Buculei

262 F.3d 322 (2001)

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United States v. Buculei

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

262 F.3d 322 (2001)

Facts

Catalin Buculei (plaintiff), a 38-year-old man, travelled from New York to Maryland for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual conduct with Megan, a 13-year-old girl. When Buculei met up with Megan, he drove her to his motel and brought her to his room. While in the room, Buculei gave Megan alcohol, which made her dizzy and tired. Buculei then set up a video camera and proceeded to engage in sexually explicit conduct with Megan in view of the camera. When Buculei next visited Maryland, Megan refused to come to his motel room and instead reported Buculei. The police searched Buculei’s Maryland motel room with Buculei’s consent, finding video equipment, alcohol, and condoms. Federal agents then obtained a search warrant for Buculei’s residence in New York, where agents discovered numerous images of child pornography and the video tape of Buculei’s sexual encounter with Megan at the Maryland motel. Buculei was indicted in federal court on multiple charges of child exploitation, including a charge under Section 2251A(b) of the United States Code for obtaining temporary control over Megan in order to engage in illegal sexual conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of that conduct. Buculei was convicted and sentenced to the statutory maximum. Buculei appealed, arguing that (1) Section 2251A(b) only applied to individuals with the same degree of control over a minor as a parent or guardian; and (2) the rule of lenity should bar conviction because Section 2251A(b) was ambiguous.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (King, J.)

Dissent (Michael, J.)

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