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United States v. McCray

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

December 19, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
WILLIAM CALVIN McCRAY, a/k/a “Skrill Will, ” Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the Government's Motion In Limine to Admit Evidence of Defendant's Under-Oath Admissions During Related Contempt Proceeding [106], Motion to Preclude Mistake-of-Age Defense for Count Three [107], Motion to Preclude Evidence of Minor Victim A.B.'s Other Sexual History Pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 412 [108], Motion to Allow Victim “A.B.” to Remain in Courtroom During Trial Pursuant to the Crime Victims' Rights Act [109], and Omnibus Motion In Limine to Exclude Improper Evidence [110]. Defendant William Calvin McCray (“Defendant” or “McCray”) responded to each of those motions in a single filing [112].

         I. BACKGROUND

         On June 2, 2015, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment [1] charging Defendant with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1594(c) (Count One); the substantive offense of sex trafficking of a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1591(a), (b)(1) and (b)(2) (Count Two); and transportation of a minor for prostitution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(a) (Count Three). On April 28, 2016, the grand jury returned a first superseding indictment against McCray, adding a charge of obstruction in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1591(d) as a result of prohibited contact between him and his victim between August 2015 and February 2016. On December 13, 2016, the grand jury returned a second superseding indictment against McCray, charging him in Count Four with obstruction of Section 1591(d) as a result of contact between him and his victim from August 2015 through September 2015, and in Count Five with obstruction of Section 1591(d) as a result of contact with his victim in February 2016.

         The Court considers the Government's motions and sets out below certain additional background information related to the motions.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Defendant's Under-Oath Admissions During Related Contempt Proceeding

         On September 22, 2016, the Court held an evidentiary hearing to determine whether Defendant violated the Court's September 21, 2015, Order barring Defendant from “contact, direct or indirect, with any witness or victim in this case.” During the hearing, Defendant expressed his intention to plead guilty to contempt. ([68] at 6-7). The Court placed Defendant under oath and conducted a plea colloquy per Rule 11 to confirm that the plea was being entered knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently. (Id. at 6-25). Counsel for the government reviewed the factual basis for Defendant's contempt plea, as follows:

If this case went to trial, Your Honor, the evidence would show as follows: On February 12th, 2016, while the defendant, William McCray, was detained at the R. A. Deyton detention facility pending trial on the underlying case, Number 1:15-CR-212, the defendant used another detainee's personal identification number. He called his grandmother using that other inmate's personal identification number and then his grandmother, through a three-way calling feature, called the victim in this case identified as A.B. in the indictment, and in so doing Mr. McCray violated the Court's order of September 21st, 2015, which prohibited Mr. McCray from contacting victims or witnesses in this case and also using three-way calling features from the detention facility. During the phone call Mr. McCray and A.B. had a conversation, including a conversation that related to the underlying criminal case in this matter. That's what the Government's evidence would show.

([68] at 19-20). Defendant admitted the offense as described. (Id. at 20, 24-25). The Court accepted the plea and sentenced Defendant to six months of incarceration. (Id. at 25, 30-31).

         The Government seeks to admit in its case-in-chief a certified transcript of Defendant's under-oath admission during this guilty plea colloquy as evidence supporting Count Five of the Second Superseding Indictment (Obstruction of Enforcement of 18 U.S.C. § 1591). Defendant “objects to the admission of statements made to the magistrate court during a plea colloquy for a contempt of court proceeding, ” but does not state a basis for the objection. ([112] at 1).

         The Court finds Defendant's statements made during the guilty plea colloquy relevant and admissible. The under-oath statements are relevant to establishing that Defendant called the victim on February 12, 2016, to talk about his case. The under-oath statements are admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)(A), which provides that a statement of a party opponent is not hearsay. See, e.g., United States v. Ricketts, 317 F.3d 540, 544 (6th Cir. 2003) (“Several out-of-court statements made by McKinney were made under oath and hence could be used as substantive evidence. Fed.R.Evid. 801(d)(1)(A)” including “McKinney's sworn statements at his guilty plea hearing___”). The Court grants the Government's Motion [106].

         B. Mistake-of-Age Defense for Count Three

         On September 11, 2017, the Government moved in limine to preclude Defendant from arguing or introducing evidence of what he believed to be the age of the minor sex-trafficking victim as a defense to Count Three of the Second Superseding Indictment. ([107]). Defendant “objects to the government's motion to preclude him from pursuing a line of defense which ...


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