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United States v. Jungers and Bonestroo

702 F.3d 1066 (2013)

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United States v. Jungers and Bonestroo

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

702 F.3d 1066 (2013)

Facts

Daron Jungers and Ronald Bonestroo (defendants) separately responded to online advertisements posted by undercover federal agents offering sexual encounters with children at a house in South Dakota. Jungers requested oral sex from an 11-year-old girl, and Bonestroo requested penetrative sex with twin 14-year-old girls. After agreeing on price, Jungers and Bonestroo separately travelled to South Dakota from out-of-state. Federal agents arrested Jungers and Bonestroo upon arrival. The federal government (plaintiff) charged Jungers and Bonestroo with attempted commercial child sex trafficking in violation of Section 1591 of the Trafficking Victim Protection Act (TVPA). Both Jungers and Bonestroo challenged, arguing that Section 1591 was inapplicable because it only applied to commercial child sex traffickers, not purchasers. Both Jungers and Bonestroo were found guilty after a jury trial; however, both filed for judgments of acquittal, and both were granted. The district court held that acquittal was appropriate because Section 1591 applied only to child sex traffickers and could not be expanded to punish individuals like Jungers and Bonestroo who merely purchased the services offered by the traffickers. The government appealed, arguing that Section 1591 applied to both suppliers and purchasers of commercial child sex acts.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Riley, C.J.)

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