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United States v. Rowe

414 F.3d 271 (2005)

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United States v. Rowe

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

414 F.3d 271 (2005)

Facts

Larry Rowe (defendant) shared child-pornography images hosted on his personal computer through a link posted on the preteen00 internet chatroom. Rowe’s post, under username “Tunlvd,” stated in relevant part that he was “offering: pre boys/girl pics.” The other posts on the preteen00 chatroom were variations on posts offering or seeking child pornography. To download any of Rowe’s pornographic images, the downloader needed to first upload an image to Rowe’s computer in exchange. Shlomo Koenig, a United States Secret Service agent, accessed Rowe’s computer through the link posted in the preteen00 chatroom and was able to view the extensive list of child-pornography images available for download. Based on Koenig’s findings, Secret Service agents executed a search warrant on Rowe’s home, during which agents seized over 12,000 child-pornography images from Rowe’s computer. Rowe admitted that he used the username “Tunlvd” on the preteen00 chatroom and that he knew it was illegal to possess, download, or share child pornography. The federal government (plaintiff) charged Rowe under Section 2251(c) of the United States Code for advertising to receive, distribute, or exchange child-pornography images. Rowe was convicted after a jury trial. Rowe appealed, arguing that his post in the preteen00 chatroom did not constitute an advertisement to distribute child pornography because it only offered “pre boys/girl pics” and made no explicit mention of child pornography. The government countered, arguing that Rowe did not need to explicitly state that he was offering to share child-pornography images because the preteen00 chatroom, where Rowe posted his advertisement, was a child-pornography exchange and the pornographic nature of all images on offer was implied.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Feinberg, J.)

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