from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District of
the State of Idaho, Ada County. Gerald F. Schroeder, District
ruling of the district court is affirmed.
Lawrence G. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, attorney
for Appellant. Kenneth K. Jorgensen argued.
Country Public Defender, Boise, attorney for Respondent.
Anita M. Moore argued.
NATURE OF THE CASE
appeal concerns the application of Idaho's Disturbing the
Peace Statute, Idaho Code section 18-6409, to the unique
facts presented in this case. Aaron Lantis was convicted of
misdemeanor disturbing the peace by sending sexually
suggestive photographs of his ex-girlfriend to her employer
in an effort to get her fired. During trial, Lantis moved for
a judgment of acquittal asserting that the statute did not
apply to his actions. The magistrate court denied Lantis'
motion. Lantis was found guilty by a jury and he made the
same motion post-verdict, which was likewise denied. He
appealed to the district court, asserting the same grounds.
The district court agreed with Lantis and vacated Lantis'
conviction, holding that Lantis' conduct was outside the
scope of the statute. The State appealed and we affirm the
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Lantis was charged with the misdemeanor offense of disturbing
the peace in violation of Idaho Code section 18-6409. The
State alleged he committed the crime by sending sexually
suggestive photographs of H.H. (Lantis' ex-girlfriend) to
her employer in an unsuccessful attempt to have her fired.
During trial, H.H. testified that Lantis' conduct left
her feeling humiliated, fearful for her job, and worried what
recipients of the email in question thought of her. After the
State rested, Lantis made a motion for judgment of acquittal
pursuant to I.C.R. 29(c) and a motion to dismiss pursuant to
I.C.R. 48. Both motions were denied. Lantis was found guilty
by the jury.
the verdict, Lantis made a post-verdict motion for judgment
of acquittal under Rule 29, asserting that the State's
evidence was insufficient to sustain a conviction since it
failed to prove an actus reus falling within Idaho
Code section 18-6409. This motion was again denied by the
magistrate judge. Lantis then appealed to the district court,
which reversed the jury's verdict and vacated the
judgment of conviction. The district court held that the
State failed to present evidence supporting a conviction for
disturbing the peace because, while the conduct was
"clearly offensive," it was "outside the
statutory definition of disturbing the peace." Lantis
also raised a constitutional challenge, alleging that the
statute was void for vagueness as to his conduct. The
district court did not reach that issue since it decided the
case on statutory construction grounds. The State then
ISSUES ON APPEAL
Lantis' act of sending compromising pictures of H.H. to
H.H.'s employer fall within the purview of Idaho Code
Lantis' conduct does constitute disturbing the peace as
defined in section 18-6409, is the statute void for vagueness
STANDARD OF REVIEW
review of a decision rendered by a district court while
acting in its intermediate appellate capacity, this Court
directly reviews the district court's decision. In re
Estate of Peterson, 157 Idaho 827, 830, 340 P.3d 1143,
1146 (2014). This Court exercises free review over statutory
interpretation because it is a question of law. State v.
Dunlap, 155 Idaho 345, 361, 313 P.3d 1, 17 (2013).
constitutionality of a statute is also a question of law over
which this Court exercises free review. Alcohol Beverage
Control v. Boyd, 148 Idaho 944, 947-48, 231 P.3d 1041,