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United States v. Curtin

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
489 F.3d 935 (2007)


Facts

Kevin Eric Curtin (defendant) was arrested for making plans to have sex with an undercover police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl. Curtin had been communicating with the officer online, and they planned to meet in person to have sex. At the time Curtin was arrested, he was at the location where he had planned to meet the undercover officer, and he possessed an electronic device containing 144 stories involving adult men having sex with young girls. Most stories also involved incest and one included bestiality. One of the stories contained similar language to what Curtin had sent to the undercover officer. Curtin’s defense at trial was that he had known that the undercover officer was an adult woman pretending to be a girl, and his only intention was to act out a daddy-daughter fantasy with another adult. The government offered into evidence the 144 stories Curtin had with him at the time he was arrested to show modus operandi, intent, preparation, and knowledge. The trial court stopped the questioning involving the stories shortly into the testimony introducing them, and then held that the only admissible portions of the stories were those that went directly to Curtin’s modus operandi, intent, preparation, and knowledge, and eventually limited the number of stories admitted to only five out of the original 144. The court did not read each story itself before admitting these stories into evidence. Following his conviction, Curtin appealed the admission of the stories.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Trott, J.)

Concurrence (Kleinfeld, J.)

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