Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Holmes: "Lascivious" depiction based on intent of video's producer

In U.S. v. Holmes, No. 14-11137 (Feb. 25, 2016), the Court affirmed child pornography possession and production convictions and a 180-month sentence imposed on a stepfather who surreptitiously videotaped his teenage stepdaughter while she was in the bathroom. Holmes claimed that his videotaping was merely the work of a “voyeur” not the production of “sexually explicit conduct” such as “lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area.” Joining other circuits to have so held, the Court concluded that depictions of otherwise innocent conduct may in fact constitute “lascivious exhibition” based on the actions of the individual creating the depiction. The “lascivious exhibition” is not the work of the child, whose innocence is not in question, but of the producer of editor of the video. Holmes’ placement of cameras in the bathroom where his stepdaughter was most likely to be videoed while nude, his extensive focus on capturing images of her pubic area, the angle of the camera set up, and his editing, all created a lascivious exhibition.