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United States v. Young

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
613 F.3d 735 (2010)


Facts

The federal government (plaintiff) prosecuted James William Young (defendant) for attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b). The federal district court trial evidence established that Young and an undercover police officer posing as 14-year-old "Emily" agreed online to meet at a motel and have sex with each other. Young said he would reserve their room, and so that Young could recognize her, Emily described how she would dress. Young drove to the motel and attempted to check in, but the reception clerk refused his credit card. Young drove to a nearby automated teller machine (ATM) to withdraw cash to pay for the room. Young canceled the room reservation because there was not enough money in his ATM account. Young drove around the neighborhood and honked his horn and yelled when he spotted a girl dressed as Emily told him she would be. The girl was another undercover police officer. Other officers arrested Young, and a search turned up a condom, a note addressed to Emily, and a bottle of bubble bath in Young's possession. Young testified that he intended neither to complete the check-in process nor have sex with Emily, and that he drove around for the sole purpose of finding Emily and making sure she was safe. The judge denied Young's motion for a jury instruction on his abandonment defense, and the jury found him guilty. Young appealed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Shepherd, J.)

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