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United States v. Gomez-Diaz

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

August 9, 2017

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Eliseo Florencio Gomez-Diaz, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          PAUL A. MAGNUSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on the Government's Motions in Limine.

         A. Punishment (Docket Nos. 43 and 47)

         The Government first seeks to preclude Gomez-Diaz from making any references to his possible sentence if convicted. Because it is not the jury's role to be concerned with any potential sentence-even when the defendant faces a mandatory-minimum sentence-this Motion is granted. Gomez-Diaz may not make any references at trial to his potential punishment if convicted.

         B. Consent (Docket Nos. 44 and 45)

         The Government seeks to preclude Gomez-Diaz from arguing or eliciting testimony that the victim consented to the production of child pornography. Gomez-Diaz does not intend to raise a consent defense. This Motion is therefore granted. But nothing about granting this Motion has an effect on Gomez-Diaz's right to testify about the allegations against him, including explaining how the sexual conduct took place, or why and how he took the photographs at issue.

         C. Immigration Status (Docket No. 46)

         The Government also seeks to preclude Gomez-Diaz from mentioning or eliciting testimony concerning his, the victim's, or the victim's family's immigration status. This Motion is granted because such evidence is irrelevant, confusing, and prejudicial. Along with prohibiting Gomez-Diaz from making any references at trial to his potential punishment, Gomez-Diaz may not make any reference to his possible deportation following his sentence. Likewise, Gomez-Diaz may not make any reference to the immigration status of the victim's sister, Gomez-Diaz's then-girlfriend. Granting this Motion does not preclude Gomez-Diaz from testifying about his life history, including where he is from and how he got here, so long as that information is relevant. Gomez-Diaz simply may not testify about his immigration status.

         D. “Made in China” (Docket No. 48)

         The Government intends to introduce evidence of the inscription “Made in China” on Gomez-Diaz's phone to prove that Gomez-Diaz produced or created child pornography using materials that had been mailed, shipped, or transported across state lines or in foreign commerce by any means. Gomez-Diaz does not object to the Government introducing such evidence. This Motion is granted.

         E. Love Letters (Docket No. 53)

         The Government seeks to preclude Gomez-Diaz from eliciting testimony or offering evidence of “love letters” that he wrote to the victim's sister following his arrest. The Government argues that these letters are irrelevant and hearsay. Gomez-Diaz utterly fails to respond to this Motion. Without knowing what the letters say, however, the Court cannot decide whether the letters are irrelevant or hearsay. This Motion is therefore denied without prejudice to specific objection at trial.

         F. State Charge (Docket No. 56)

         The Government seeks to preclude Gomez-Diaz from referencing or eliciting testimony about his pending state-court charge of criminal sexual conduct stemming from the same allegations involved in this case. This Motion is granted because such evidence is irrelevant, confusing, and prejudicial. If Gomez-Diaz testifies, he may of course address the sexual contact and testify about whether he feels a responsibility, ...


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