United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Evidence — undue prejudice
In a prosecution for child pornography offenses, it was not unduly prejudicial to permit the jury to view the evidence during deliberations.
“Although Loughry makes valid points concerning the prejudicial effect of the child pornography from his home, we see no abuse of discretion in allowing the jury to view this evidence during deliberations. ‘That evidence may be highly prejudicial does not compel its exclusion; the evidence must be unfairly prejudicial.’ United States v. Chambers, 642 F.3d 588, 595 (7th Cir. 2011). To determine whether an exhibit is unfairly prejudicial, we use ‘a sliding scale approach: as the probative value increases, so does our tolerance of the risk of prejudice.’ United States v. Earls, 704 F.3d 466, 471 (7th Cir. 2012). The evidence recovered from Loughry’s home possessed a great deal of probative value. Loughry’s home computer contained images and videos that had many of the same properties as those found on the Cache. This similarity was strong evidence of Loughry’s identity as the Cache user ‘Mayorroger’ who advertised and distributed child pornography on the site. For example, one of the videos from Loughry’s stash was from a child pornography site called Lolita Studios. This was the same site whose images populated the ‘LS [for Lolita Studios] and BD Galleries’ area of the Cache. It was in this area that Savigar posted a series of child pornography images and credited Mayorroger for his help in distributing the images. Given the highly probative nature of the evidence, the district court acted within its discretion in concluding that the risk of prejudice to Loughry did not warrant its exclusion from the jury room.”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Barker, J., Williams, J.