Submitted: October 20, 2017
from United States District Court for the District of
Minnesota - St. Paul
LOKEN, GRUENDER, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.
convicted Lee Paul of three counts of commercial sex
trafficking in violation of the Trafficking Victims
Protection Act (TVPA), 18 U.S.C. § 1591(a). The district
court sentenced him to 396 months imprisonment.
Paul appeals, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to
support each count of conviction, that each count in the
superseding indictment contained multiple crimes and was
therefore duplicitous, and that the district court's jury
instructions defining "coercion" and
"fraud" rendered § 1591(a) void for vagueness
as applied. We affirm.
statute primarily at issue, 18 U.S.C. § 1591(a) (2012),
(a) Whoever knowingly--
(1) in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce . . .
recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, obtains, or
maintains by any means a person; or
(2)benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value,
from participation in a venture which has engaged in an act
described in violation of paragraph (1),
knowing, or in reckless disregard of the fact, that means of
force, threats of force, fraud, coercion described in
subsection (e)(2), or any combination of such means will be
used to cause the person to engage in a commercial sex act,
or that the person has not attained the age of 18 years and
will be caused to engage in a commercial sex act, shall be
punished as provided in subsection (b).
(e)(2) defines "coercion" to mean:
(A)threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against
(B)any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to
believe that failure to perform an act would result in
serious harm to or ...