United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO
EXCLUDE SEXUALLY EXPLICIT MATERIAL DEPICTING MINORS AT
GUIROLA, JR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
THE COURT is the  Motion in Limine to Exclude Sexually
Explicit Material Depicting Minors at Trial filed by the
defendant, Taryn Goin Naidoo. The Motion seeks to prohibit
the United States of America (“the Government”)
from publishing to the jury images and videos of minors
engaged in sexual activity because Naidoo has agreed to
stipulate to the contents of the files found on various
electronic storage devices. The Government filed a response
in opposition. Having considered the submissions of the
parties and relevant law, the Court finds that the
defendant's Motion in Limine to Exclude Sexually Explicit
Material Depicting Minors at Trial should be denied.
 Superseding Indictment in this case charges Mr. Naidoo
with three counts of possession of child pornography, each in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252(a)(4)(B) and (b)(2).
Trial is set for January 6, 2020. The defendant has offered
to stipulate that the videos and images found on the various
seized electronic storage devices depict child pornography as
defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2256. He accordingly argues that
the images in this case will be substantially more
prejudicial than probative and should be excluded under
Federal Rule of Evidence 403. The Government disagrees,
maintaining that “a criminal defendant may not
stipulate or admit his way out of the full evidential force
of the case as the Government chooses to present it.”
(Govt's Resp. Opp. 3, ECF No. 67 (quoting Old
Chief v. United States, 519 U.S. 172, 186-87
one party stipulates to a disputed fact, the stipulation
conclusively proves that fact.” United States v.
Caldwell, 586 F.3d 338, 342 (5th Cir. 2009) (citing
Old Chief, 519 U.S. at 186). “Any additional
evidence offered to prove that fact, while still relevant,
could potentially violate Rule 403.” Id.
the prosecution may fairly seek to place its evidence before
the jurors, as much to tell a story of guiltiness as to
support an inference of guilt, to convince the jurors that a
guilty verdict would be morally reasonable as much as to
point to the discrete elements of a defendant's legal
Old Chief, 519 U.S. at 188. “[F]or beyond the
power of conventional evidence to support allegations and
give life to the moral underpinnings of law's claims,
there lies the need for evidence in all its particularity to
satisfy the jurors' expectations about what proper proof
should be.” Id.
United States v. Caldwell, the Fifth Circuit upheld
a challenge identical to the one raised here by Naidoo in a
possession of child pornography case. The Fifth Circuit
distinguished between the evidence found to be unduly
prejudicial in Old Chief - records of the
defendant's prior conviction for aggravated assault of a
specific person; the defendant stipulated that he had
previously been convicted of a felony offense - and child
pornography in a possession case: “child pornography is
graphic evidence that has force beyond simple linear schemes
of reasoning.” Caldwell, 586 F.3d at 343.
It comes together with the remaining evidence to form a
narrative to gain momentum to support jurors' inferences
regarding the defendant's guilt. It provides the flesh
and blood for the jury to see the exploitation of children.
The general, conclusory language of the stipulation that the
videos “contain visual depictions of minors under the
age of eighteen, engaging in sexually explicit conduct”
does not have the same evidentiary value as actually seeing
the particular explicit conduct of the specific minors.
Jurors have expectations as to the narrative that will unfold
in the courtroom. . . . [T]he actual videos exploiting
children in a child pornography case form the narrative that
falls within the general rule stated in Old Chief.
Id. (citations omitted).
the videos, themselves, may reflect how likely it was that
Naidoo knew the videos depicted child pornography.
Id. This element - Naidoo's knowledge - is
unaddressed by the stipulation he offered to the Government.
Voir dire is where the Court and the parties will ensure that
the jury panel does not allow hostility or aversion towards
pornography or child pornography to prejudice their
consideration of the evidence or influence them to deviate
from the Court's instructions. See Id. at 343
n.1. At the same time, the denial of Naidoo's pretrial
Motion neither licenses the Government to overwhelm the jury
with disturbing videos and images nor prohibits Naidoo from
raising proper Rule 403 objections at trial.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJDUGED that the 
Motion in Limine to Exclude Sexually Explicit Material
Depicting Minors at ...