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United States v. Polk

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division

August 21, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
RONALD ARTHUR POLK, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION IN LIMINE AND GRANTING SECOND MOTION IN LIMINE

          Thomas L. Ludington United States District Judge.

         On February 27, 2019, an indictment was issued against Defendant Polk for one count of possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor or a minor who had not attained 12 years of age. ECF No. 1. On July 16, 2019, the Government filed a motion in limine. ECF No. 29. The next week, it filed a second motion in limine. ECF No. 31. The first motion in limine will be granted in part and denied in part. The second motion in limine will be granted.

         I.

         In its first motion in limine, the Government requests that Defendant be prohibited from “asking any question, introducing any evidence or making any statement” about the following:

A. Age of consent, specifically any reference to “any alleged age of consent contrary to existing U.S. law.”;
B. Undisclosed defense exhibits;
C. References to potential punishment or Defendant's personal background, health or family;
D. Exculpatory hearsay;
E. Plea negotiations;
F. Polygraph examinations or results;
G. Impeachment of witnesses through others' reports;
H. Expert opinions, specifically requesting that the Court not “declare that a witness is qualified as an expert” (quoting U.S. v. Johnson, 488 F.3d 690, 697 (6th Cir. 2007));

ECF No. 29 at PageID.79-80. The Government also requests that it be permitted “to admit a sampling of the child pornography found to have been in defendant's possession into evidence and to publish those images to the jury in a way that they are not viewable to members of the public who attend the trial.” Id. at PageID.80.

         In his response, Defendant stipulated to all of the relief sought by the Government except for the Government's request seeking to limit references to Defendant's personal background, specifically his family. Defendant contends that the Government's request to limit references to Defendant's “‘family circumstances' ...


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