The eDiscovery Resource Center™ is Bloomberg BNA’s comprehensive research solution for litigators and in-house counsel who require authoritative guidance on the handling,...
June 7 — A man “sent” sexual photos of himself to a child when he handed her a phone containing the images and told her to take a look, the New Mexico Supreme Court held June 2 ( State v. Tufts, 2016 BL 175227, N.M., No. S-1-SC-35255, 6/2/16 ).
The case shows courts will look to the purpose and history of a statute for interpreting how to apply the law to less cut-and-dry facts.
Robert Tufts was convicted of criminal sexual communication with a child, but the conviction was reversed after the appellate court held that “to send” communications under the statute required a third-party carrier.
Tufts had hand-delivered the images to the child by giving her the phone containing the data. The state appealed.
The state high court, however, said it must interpret “send” in light of the Legislature's objective and purpose, and reversed the lower court's decision.
Communicating directly with a child may occur through a third-party carrier, the court said, but “it may also occur by delivering the electronic communication device containing the obscene images of the defendant directly to the child.”
The court noted the statute's purpose is to protect children from being provided with obscene images on a device that can produce, store or distribute electronic images.
“Whether a digital camera, a video recorder, or a cell phone is handed directly to a child or an image is electronically transmitted to one of those devices, the effect of the conduct and the resulting harm to the child—access to obscene electronically generated images via an electronic communication device—is the same,” the court concluded.
Justice Edward L. Chavez wrote the opinion.
The attorney general's office in Santa Fe, N.M., represented the state.
The appellate defender's office in Santa Fe, represented Tufts.
To contact the reporter on this story: Tera Brostoff at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)