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United States v. Kramer

631 F.3d 900 (2011)

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United States v. Kramer

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

631 F.3d 900 (2011)

Facts

Neil Kramer (plaintiff) used his Motorola cellphone to call and text his minor victim during a six-month period. Kramer then transported his minor victim across state lines before engaging in sexual conduct with her. Kramer was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, transporting a minor in interstate commerce with the intent of engaging in criminal sexual conduct, a federal crime. The district court applied a two-level sentence enhancement because Kramer used his Motorola cell phone to communicate with his victim and facilitate his crimes against her. The district court held that the sentencing enhancement applied because (1) Kramer’s cellphone fell within the definition of a “computer” as used by the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual; and (2) using a computer to induce, facilitate, or coerce a minor into engaging in criminal sexual conduct prompted a two-level sentencing enhancement. Kramer appealed, arguing that his cellphone could not be classified as a computer because it was a basic cellphone that could only make phone calls and send text messages.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wollman, J.)

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