United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
C. NYE CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff United States of America's
(“United States” or “Government”)
Motion in Limine to Admit “Other Act” Evidence.
reviewed the record and briefs, the Court finds that the
facts and legal arguments are adequately presented.
Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding further delay, and
because the Court finds that the decisional process would not
be significantly aided by oral argument, the Court will
decide the Motions without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc.
Civ. R. 7.1(d)(2)(ii).
reasons outlined below, the Court will GRANT in PART and DENY
in PART the Motion.
July, 24, 2018, the federal grand jury sitting in Pocatello,
Idaho returned an eight-count Second Superseding Indictment
against Defendant Lex Goodwin. Dkt. 17.
Counts one through four, the Indictment alleges that Goodwin
produced child pornography images of “Jane Doe I”
on or about August 3, 2017, August 12, 2017, August 13, 2017,
and September 30, 2017. In count five, the Indictment alleges
that Goodwin attempted to produce child pornography images of
“Jane Doe II” on or about August 13, 2017. In
count six, the Indictment alleges that on or between August
12, 2016, and September 20, 2017, Goodwin knowingly
transported child pornography in interstate commerce. In
count seven, the Indictment alleges that Goodwin possessed
images of child pornography on his Samsung Galaxy S7
cellphone, on a Gateway laptop computer that he used and
accessed, and within two separate Google accounts. In count
eight, the Indictment alleges that Goodwin committed the
felony offenses charged in count one through count five at
times when he was required by law to register as a sex
August 7, 2018, Goodwin entered a plea of not guilty to the
Second Superseding Indictment. Dkt. 20. After granting
numerous motions to continue (Dkts. 22, 24, 32) the Court set
a date of May 20, 2019, for trial. Dkt. 32.
trial, the United States filed a Notice of Intent to Admit
‘Other Act' Evidence. Dkt. 28. As it became
apparent that this case would, in fact, proceed to trial, the
United States filed a formal Motion seeking to admit this
“other act” evidence. Dkt. 40.
Court recognizes that the following recitation of the
underlying facts is repugnant. Additionally, the Court wishes
to limit references to the minor victims in this case as much
as possible. That said, background and context are necessary
to understand the United States' Motion in Limine and the
Court's ruling on the same.
September 1, 2017, the National Center for Missing and
Exploited Children (“NCMEC”) received a report
from Google indicating that someone had uploaded child
pornography to the Google account firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the report, four images of child pornography
depicting a female child approximately eighteen months old
were uploaded to the Google account on August 3, 2017.
Exchangeable Image File Format
(“Exif”) data associated with the four images shows
that the images were created on August 3, 2017, less than
three hours prior to being uploaded to the Google account.
Exif data also shows that the images were created using a
camera model SM-G930P, which is the same camera found on a
Samsung Galaxy S7 cellphone.
Agent Kris Knight with Homeland Security Investigations was
assigned to follow-up on the report from NCMEC. SA Knight
learned that the IP address associated with the upload of the
child pornography to the Google account was tied to the
residence of K.T., Goodwin's girlfriend, in Rupert,
Idaho. SA Knight also learned that Goodwin was a registered
sex offender and on state parole for battery with intent to
commit rape. The victim in that case was an adult female.
Knight contacted Goodwin's parole officer and learned
that he (Goodwin) lived in Pocatello but often spent time at
K.T.'s residence in Rupert. SA Knight learned that two
female children, one eighteen months old (hereinafter
“Jane Doe I”) and one seven years old
(hereinafter “Jane Doe II”) also lived at the
residence. The four child pornography images associated with
the report from Google were later identified to be sexually
explicit images of “Jane Doe I.”
Agent Knight obtained search warrants for Goodwin's
residence in Pocatello, K.T.'s residence in Rupert, and
the email@example.com Google account. The residential
warrants were served on October 5, 2017. The same day that
the warrants were executed, SA Knight met Goodwin at the
parole office and interviewed him. Goodwin was advised of his
Miranda rights and agreed to waive them.
the interview-in which Goodwin lied to SA Knight concerning
the whereabouts of his phone and his use of the email address
firstname.lastname@example.org- Goodwin's cellphone, his
Gateway computer, and the other electronic devices seized
during the investigation were submitted for forensic
examination. The forensic examination of Goodwin's
electronic devices, as well as additional records received
from Google in response to a search warrant, revealed
numerous files of child pornography within the
email@example.com account. SA Knight also located the
four pornographic images of “Jane Doe I” that
were reported to NCMEC by Google. Within the same Google
account, SA Knight found several emails from
firstname.lastname@example.org to various females discussing
meeting up to engage in sexual activity. SA Knight also found
an email from the email address email@example.com to
the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Attached to the
email was a word document that contained a resume for Lex
Goodwin. On August 5, 2017, the email@example.com
account received a message from Google stating, “Your
library is now being shared with
on the association with the lexinpocatello account and the
lexgoodwin85 account, SA Knight obtained a search warrant for
the firstname.lastname@example.org account and reviewed the documents
supplied by Google in response to that warrant. SA Knight
located numerous files of child pornography within this
second account. SA Knight located the same four child
pornography files depicting “Jane Doe I” that
were the subject of the Google NCMEC report. SA Knight also
located several other sexually explicit images of “Jane
Doe I.” Exif data from those images shows that they
were taken on August 13, 2017, and September 30, 2017, using
the same type of camera that is found on a Samsung Galaxy S7
the same Google account, SA Knight located a series of
pictures showing a female child wearing a pink skirt and a
blue shirt. The child is shown sitting with her legs apart,
and in some of the pictures the child's underwear is
moved off to the side to where her genitals are almost
exposed. It appears that the images were taken
surreptitiously. K.T. subsequently identified the child in
these images as “Jane Doe II.” On Goodwin's
Samsung S7 cellphone, SA Knight located several of the same
sexually explicit images of “Jane Doe I” that
were located within the email@example.com account.
Goodwin's cellphone, SA Knight also located a set of
three images depicting an adult male posing with a pair of
child's underwear. The child's underwear in this
picture were later identified as belonging to “Jane Doe
II” and the same underwear was collected from
K.T.'s residence. Exif data from the images shows that
they were created using a Samsung S7 cellphone on August 23,
2017. The Exif data also contains GPS coordinates showing
that the pictures were taken at K.T.'s residence in
on the Gateway computer, SA Knight located several files of
child pornography. Most of the child pornography was located
within an application called Blue Stacks, which is a program
that allows a PC computer to operate like an Android cellular
phone. SA Knight also located Google search history and
internet website history related to child pornography and a
sexual interest in children. The internet history is dated
between June 30, 2015, and July 3, 2015.
Motion in Limine Standard
in limine are well-established devices that streamline trials
and settle evidentiary disputes in advance, so that trials
are not interrupted mid-course for the consideration of
lengthy and complex evidentiary issues.” Miller v.
Lemhi Cty., No. 4:15-CV-00156-DCN, 2018 WL 1144970, at
*1 (D. Idaho Mar. 2, 2018) (citing United States v.
Tokash, 282 F.3d 962, 968 (7th Cir. 2002)). “The
term ‘in limine' means ‘at the outset.' A
motion in limine is a procedural mechanism to limit in
advance testimony or evidence in a particular area.”
United States v. Heller, 551 F.3d 1108, 1111 (9th
Cir. 2009) (quoting Black's Law Dictionary 803 (8th ed.
“[a]n in limine order precluding the admission of
evidence or testimony is an evidentiary ruling, ”
United States v. Komisaruk, 885 F.2d 490, 493 (9th
Cir. 1989) (citation omitted) “a district court has
discretion in ruling on a motion in limine.” United
States v. Ravel, 930 F.2d 721, 726 (9th Cir. 1991).
Further, in limine rulings are preliminary and, therefore,
“are not binding on the trial judge [who] may always
change his mind during the course of a trial.”
Ohler v. United States, 529 U.S. 753, 758 n.3
Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b)
404(b) of the Federal Rules of Evidence governs the
admissibility of evidence concerning “other crimes,
wrongs, or acts” committed by a defendant. That Rule
provides as follows:
(1) Evidence of a crime, wrong, or other act is not
admissible to prove a person's character in order to show
that on a particular occasion the person acted ...