The 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b) “substantial step” requirement

A few weeks ago I posted some documents at my clients’ request about a pending case. I’ve now been asked by another client to share some of his case materials. It’s an online enticement of a minor case under 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b).

I believe, and I’ve argued in this case, that Section 2422(b) is being misinterpreted, in attempt cases, by many federal courts. The briefs below lay out the argument. In short, it’s that the persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion prohibited by Section 2422(b) must take place in interstate communications, and therefore the substantial step required for a criminal attempt cannot be a step toward an in-person meeting.

In my client’s case, the Eleventh Circuit did not squarely address this argument, because of an error made by trial counsel. In sharing these materials I’m hopeful that they’ll be helpful to others representing defendants in Section 2422(b) attempt cases. When the U.S. Supreme Court eventually takes a Section 2422(b) case (at least one cert petition is pending), we may get some clarity on this issue.

Opening Brief 11th Circuit 2422(b)

Response Brief 11th Circuit 2422(b)

Reply Brief 11th Circuit 2422(b)

11th Circuit Opinion

11th Circuit Petition for Rehearing

Certiorari Petition 2422(b)