SW Legal studies in Business

Files Moved By Internet Presumed to Move Interstate

Appeals court held that a man convicted of possession of child pornography on his computer, who downloaded the images, can reasonably be presumed to have received images that moved across state lines, making the act a violation of federal law.

Topic Cyberlaw
Key Words

Criminal Law; Interstate Commerce; Images; Pornography

C A S E   S U M M A R Y

Child pornography was found on Lewis’s computer at home. Analysis showed that it had been downloaded by Lewis’s Comcast Internet connection and a peer-to-peer file-sharing application called LimeWire. The jury found that it was likely that the pornography had been shipped on the Internet across state lines. Lewis was convicted. He appealed, contending it was not proved that the pornography had moved in interstate commerce, which would be required for conviction of the federal statute.


Affirmed. Evidence that the defendant received child pornography images that were transmitted over the Internet was sufficient to prove the images traveled in interstate commerce, thereby supporting the conviction.

Citation U.S. v. Lewis, 554 F.3d 208 (1st Cir., 2009)

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