United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER ON MOTION IN LIMINE TO ADMIT PHOTOGRAPHS AND
EVIDENCE OF PAST CONDUCT
A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
trial looming in this child pornography case, the Court
grants in part and dismisses in part the Government's
motion in limine. The Court rules admissible photographs of
images of naked children that the Defendant posted on the
walls of his apartment as well as photographs of the
children's clothing and baby pacifiers that law
enforcement found in his apartment. The Court declines to
make a final ruling as to the admissibility of evidence that
the Defendant previously downloaded child pornography at a
municipal library and evidence that the Defendant's
landlord had prior knowledge of the Defendant's
downloading of child pornography. The Court reserves those
issues for trial.
September 16, 2015, a federal grand jury indicted Jack Palmer
for possession of child pornography, an alleged violation of
18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A(a)(5)(B), 2252(b)(2) and
2256(8)(A). Indictment at 1 (ECF No.
3). The charge is scheduled for jury selection on September
12, 2016, with trial to follow immediately thereafter. Notice
of Hr'g (ECF No. 42); Id. (ECF No. 48). On July
27, 2016, the Government filed a motion in limine, asking
that the Court rule in advance of trial as to the
admissibility of certain photographs and instances of past
conduct of the Defendant. Gov't's Mot. in Limine to
Admit Photographs and Evid. of Past Instances of Possessing
Child Pornography (ECF No. 40) (Gov't's Mot.). On
August 17, 2016, Mr. Palmer responded in opposition to the
motion. Def.'s Opp'n to Gov't's Mot. in
Limine to Admit Photographs and Evid. of Past Instances of
Possessing Child Pornography (ECF No. 44) (Def.'s
Opp'n). The Government replied on August 29, 2016.
Gov't's Reply to the Def.'s Opp'n to
Gov't's Mot. in Limine to Admit Photographs and Evid.
of Past Instances of Possessing Child Pornography (ECF No.
46) (Gov't's Reply).
September 16, 2015 indictment charges Mr. Palmer with
possession of child pornography on October 23, 2014.
Indictment at 1. The Government represents that on October
23, 2014, law enforcement conducted a search of Mr.
Palmer's residence in Winter Harbor, Maine, pursuant to a
search warrant, seeking evidence of his unlawful possession
of child pornography. Gov't's Mot. at 1. The
Government says that as a result of the search, its forensic
examination of the computer and hard drive revealed 312
images and five videos of child pornography. Id. It
says that law enforcement later reviewed CDs recovered from
Mr. Palmer's residence and identified additional child
pornography. Id. at 1-2. In addition to the child
pornography on the laptop, hard drive, and CDs, the
Government represents that law enforcement found inside Mr.
Palmer's residence paper photographs of naked children
posted on the walls, children's clothing, children's
underwear, and pacifiers for babies. Id. at 2.
Government also states that a special agent from Homeland
Security spoke with Mr. Palmer's landlord, Larry Smith,
on May 6, 2016. Id. Mr. Smith confirmed that Mr.
Palmer had been living at the apartment complex for about
fifteen years. Id. At some point, Mr. Smith became
aware that Mr. Palmer had been viewing child pornography, and
he pleaded with him to stop doing so. Id. Mr. Palmer
responded that he would not get into trouble because he was
not downloading child pornography. Id.
least one occasion, Mr. Smith said Mr. Palmer entered Mr.
Smith's office and used Mr. Smith's computer to view
child pornography. Id. Mr. Smith called the police
and removed the computer to ensure Mr. Palmer did not
continue to view child pornography in his office.
Id. at 2-3.
8, 2013, according to the Government, the Winter Harbor
Library expelled Mr. Palmer for viewing child pornography at
the library. Id. at 3. Mr. Palmer admitted being
expelled from the library for doing so. Id.
motion, the Government attached:
(1) twelve photographs of child pornography that it says were
posted on Mr. Palmer's wall, Id. Attach. 1;
(2) seven photographs of Mr. Palmer's apartment depicting
where the child pornography was posted, Id. Attach.
(3) two photographs of children's clothing, Id.
Attachs. 3, 4;
(4) two photographs of children's underwear, Id.
Attachs. 5, 6;
(5) a photograph of baby pacifiers, Id. Attach. 7;
(6) an October 28, 2014 report of a polygraph examination of
Mr. Palmer, Id. Attach. 8;
(7) an October 23, 2014 report of an interview with Mr.
Palmer, Id. Attach. 9;
(8) a May 16, 2016 report of an interview with Larry Smith,
Id. Attach. 10;
(9) a July 8, 2013 report of an incident at the Winter Harbor
Library, Id. ...