United States v. Marcus

487 F. Supp. 2d 289 (2007)

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United States v. Marcus

United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
487 F. Supp. 2d 289 (2007)

  • Written by Alexander Hager-DeMyer, JD

Facts

Glenn Marcus (defendant) was tried by a jury on several criminal charges, including sex trafficking and forced labor in violation of two sections of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1591 and 1589, respectively. The complaining witness, Jodi, testified that she entered into a consensual relationship with Marcus that involved bondage, discipline, dominance, and masochism (BDSM). However, Marcus used force and coercion to prevent Jodi from leaving the relationship when she attempted to break off ties. Jodi testified that Marcus forced her to engage in BDSM-related sexual conduct with Marcus and others and that the acts were photographed and posted to Marcus’s personal website, which Jodi was forced to create and maintain. Marcus received revenue for the sexual photographs posted to his website. The jury convicted Marcus, and Marcus moved under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29 to have the judge set aside the verdict for insufficient evidence. Marcus claimed that (1) the TVPA did not apply to acts within intimate, domestic relationships and consensual BDSM activities, (2) the term commercial sex act in § 1591 applied to prostitution and not pornography, and (3) the government failed to show a nexus between Marcus’s force or coercion and the alleged commercial sex acts or forced labor.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ross, J.)

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