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United States v. Portanova

3rd Circuit

May 27, 2020

The defendant pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography (18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2), (b)(1)). The District Court found he had a prior conviction in PA for possessing and distributing child pornography. Thus, the District Court applied a statutory sentencing enhancement.  The defendant appealed and asserted that the District Court should have applied the formal categorical approach and construed “relating to” narrowly. Because the Pennsylvania child pornography statute criminalizes conduct not covered under federal law, he argued, it could not constitute a § 2252(b)(1) predicate offense. 
The 3rd Circuit applied a broader reading of “relating to” and concluded that the defendant had a prior conviction “relating to” the child pornography offenses described in § 2252(b)(1).

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