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State v. Marquis

Supreme Court of Maine

March 20, 2018

STATE OF MAINE
v.
RANDY R. MARQUIS

          Argued: February 15, 2018

          Scott F. Hess, Esq. (orally), The Law Office of Scott F. Hess, LLC, Augusta, for appellant Randy R. Marquis

          Maeghan Maloney, District Attorney, and Frayla Tarpinian, Asst. Dist. Atty. (orally), Prosecutorial District IV, Augusta, for appellee State of Maine

          Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and HUMPHREY, JJ.

          ALEXANDER, JUDGE.

         [¶1] Randy R. Marquis appeals from a judgment of conviction entered in the Unified Criminal Docket (Kennebec County, Stewart, J.) after a jury found him guilty of three counts of possession of sexually explicit material (Class C), 17-AM.R.S. § 284(1)(C) (2017). Marquis challenges the court's [Murphy, J.) denial of his motion to suppress statements and digital evidence obtained by the police after they entered his home. We affirm the judgment.

         I. CASE HISTORY

         [¶2] Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the motion court's order, State v. Nadeau, 2010 ME 71, ¶ 2, 1 A.3d 445, the record supports the following facts.

         [¶3] Between December 2014 and January 2015, officers with the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit downloaded files containing child pornography from an IP address associated with a networking device at a residence in Augusta. On January 16, 2015, three officers, wearing plain clothes and driving unmarked vehicles, arrived at the residence. The lead investigator walked up the front steps and knocked on the door of an enclosed porch. Marquis answered the knock and opened the door. The lead investigator identified himself as a State Police officer, verified the address, and stated that he was looking for the homeowner. Marquis stated that he was the homeowner's son, to which the investigator replied, "Oh, you're his son? Ok, well, maybe you can help me out." The investigator then entered the enclosed porch and the entrance door closed. The exchange lasted approximately twenty-five seconds.

         [¶4] After entering the porch, the investigator asked Marquis and Marquis's mother and father, who had joined them, whether the taxi business operating out of the home had experienced any problems on Christmas Day. When they indicated that they were not aware of any problems, the investigator told them that there was "something else" with which he would like their help. He stated that the police, while monitoring internet traffic, had observed child pornographic files coming through the network associated with the address and asked if they knew anything about that. Marquis readily responded, "Yeah, I know what you're talking about." Marquis stated that he had received "a few" of the files while using a peer-to-peer file sharing network but that he immediately deleted them upon receipt. Marquis added that no one else used the computer besides him.

         [¶5] The investigator asked whether he could look at Marquis's computer. Marquis replied, "Yeah." The investigator explained that he did not have a search warrant-and that Marquis did not have to consent to a search of his computer-but that he would like to check the accuracy of what Marquis told him by using a "search tool." Marquis responded with "yeah ok" and "I have no problem with that." Marquis then directed the lead investigator to the computer, which was located on the enclosed porch.

         [¶6] While the search of the computer was being performed, Marquis answered all of the investigator's questions and provided biographical and household information. The investigator also spoke with Marquis's wife, who had come onto the porch.

         [¶7] After the search was complete, the investigator showed Marquis the results, which he told Marquis revealed "hits on tons and tons of pictures." The investigator told Marquis that, if Marquis gave consent, he would like to "take it back to the laboratory and do a more thorough search for illegal files." The investigator asked Marquis if he could also take the "SD" card. Marquis muttered his assent.

         [¶8] While speaking with Marquis and his father, the investigator gave Marquis a consent-to-search form and told him that by signing the form he was consenting to a search of the computer and the S.D. card for illegal contraband, specifically child pornography, and that he did not have to give consent. Marquis signed the form, asking for the date. Before speaking with another adult member of the ...


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