In United States v. Wright, No. 22-12338 (Mar. 19, 2024) (Branch, Grant, Carnes), the Court affirmed Mr. Wright’s conviction, pursuant to a plea agreement, for producing child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a) and (e).

Mr. Wright argued that § 2251(a) required proof that the minor in question had volitionally participated in the sexually explicit conduct, but that she could not have done so because she was asleep. And so, the district court violated Rules 11(b)(1)(G) and (b)(3) in accepting Mr. Wright’s guilty plea because the court neither discussed this volition requirement when instructing Mr. Wright on the charge’s nature, nor required the government to make a factual showing of volition. The Court disagreed. Section 2251, it held, did not require the minor to have been actively engaged in sexually explicit conduct. It sufficed that the minor served as the object of Mr. Wright’s sexual desire as he engaged in the conduct.

202212338.pdf (