United States v. Key

Romeoville Police received a call from a Wisconsin mother who stated that her 15-year-old daughter (April) left Wisconsin with an unknown man and called her from a motel, wanting to come home. Officers went to the motel, which had a reputation for prostitution and drug problems. A clerk stated that there was one guest from Wisconsin and showed the officers a photocopy of that guest’s identification. The officers proceeded to the room, where the door was propped open. The officers knocked and Key—who matched the identification—answered. Key said April had gone to a restaurant. The officers asked if they could check the room for the girl; Key consented. Inside the room, the officers saw a tablet open to the website backpage.com, which was commonly used to post prostitution advertisements; a large number of prepaid credit cards; used and unused condoms, and multiple cellphones. Crayton, another young woman, was in the room. Crayton stated that she and April were prostituting and that Key was their pimp. They found April at the restaurant. Following Key's arrest, officers seized the tablet, credit cards, cellphones, and other evidence from the room and Key’s car. Key unsuccessfully moved to suppress the evidence. The court instructed the jury that voluntary participation by the victim was not a defense. The Seventh Circuit affirmed Key's conviction, upholding the denial of the motion and the jury instruction. View "United States v. Key" on Justia Law