I. Factual BackgroundOn September 3, 2008, a grand jury returned an eightcount second superceding indictment charging Christie with possession, receipt, and advertising of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2251(d)(1)(A), 2252A(a)(2)(A), and 2252A(a)(5)(B). The indictment was the culmination of a twoyear investigation into the website of the North American Man- Girl Love Association (“NAMGLA”), a site that featured a password-protected forum where users could post links to sexually explicit images and videos of children and comment on those materials.
A. Investigation Culminating in Christie’s ArrestThe investigation began in November 2005 as the byproduct of an unrelated fraud investigation into Jerrod Lochmiller, who happened to be the administrator of the NAMGLA site. Lochmiller, who was a fugitive and on probation at all times pertinent to this case, contacted the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles through his attorney, George Buehler. Buehler indicated that, in exchange for the government’s dropping fraud charges against Lochmiller, Lochmiller would, in turn, provide access to the NAMGLA website and information on its users. The U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed and referred the case to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), which assigned Special Agent Douglas MacFarlane as the primary case agent for the investigation.
Buehler furnished a user name and password, which MacFarlane then used to access restricted areas of the NAMGLA website. At trial, MacFarlane testified that the password-protected areas of the website contained three sections entitled the N Gallery, the Private Gallery, and the Private Lounge. In the N Gallery – which MacFarlane identified as an abbreviation for “Nude Gallery” – users could post links to other websites containing sexually explicit images and videos of children posing by themselves. The Private Gallery and Private Lounge sections of the website operated in a similar manner, except that the links posted in them typically contained images of children engaged in sexual acts with adults or with one another. MacFarlane testified that access to the site was free but that users were required to submit links to child pornography to the site moderators in order to obtain a username and password. During the course of the investigation, one such user, who went by the screen name “franklee,” consistently posted links to new images and videos, and posted comments to the website. As a result of MacFarlane’s investigation, the FBI undertook efforts to identify the users of the website.
Judge(s): Kent Jordan
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Joseph Greenaway, Jr.|
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Appellant Lawyer(s)||Appellant Law Firm(s)|
|Lorraine Gauli-Rufo||Office of the Federal Public Defender|
|Appellee Lawyer(s)||Appellee Law Firm(s)|
|George Leone||U.S. Department of Justice|
|John Romano||U.S. Department of Justice|