United States v. Nerad

69 M.J. 138 (2010)

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United States v. Nerad

United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
69 M.J. 138 (2010)

Facts

Senior Airman Michael Nerad (defendant) was married but had a consensual affair with a 17-year-old female. The female sent Nerad nude photos of herself, and the couple took photos of their joint sexual activity. Nerad was court-martialed on several charges, including a charge for possessing child pornography that was based on the sexually explicit photos of the female minor. Nerad pleaded guilty to all the charges and was sentenced. The convening authority approved the findings of guilt and the sentence. The Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) reviewed the case and concluded that no legal or factual errors had occurred. However, the CCA found that (1) the photos in question did not warrant criminal prosecution and (2) the child-pornography finding unreasonably exaggerated the criminality of Nerad’s conduct because it required Nerad to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. The CCA disapproved and set aside the child-pornography finding but affirmed Nerad’s sentence without any changes. The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces reviewed the case to determine whether the CCA had the authority to disapprove a legally and factually sufficient finding of guilt.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ryan, J.)

Concurrence (Baker, J.)

Dissent (Stucky, J.)

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