Crespo v. United States, No. 4024.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
Writing for the CourtMAHONEY, Circuit , PETERS and FORD
Citation151 F.2d 44
Docket NumberNo. 4024.
Decision Date29 August 1945
PartiesCRESPO v. UNITED STATES.

151 F.2d 44 (1945)

CRESPO
v.
UNITED STATES.

No. 4024.

Circuit Court of Appeals, First Circuit.

August 29, 1945.


151 F.2d 45

B. F. Sanchez Castano, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, for appellant.

Philip F. Herrick, U. S. Atty., of San Juan, Puerto Rico (Francisco Ponsa Feliu and Pascual Amado Rivera, Asst. U. S. Attys., both of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on the brief), for appellee.

Before MAHONEY, Circuit Judge, PETERS and FORD, District Judges.

PETERS, District Judge.

Appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for Puerto Rico adjudging the appellant guilty of violation of the so-called White Slave Traffic Act, 36 Stat. 825, 18 U.S.C.A. § 398, by transporting women for purposes of prostitution from one place to another in Puerto Rico.

The indictment contains six counts, one for conspiracy and each of the other five for transporting for an immoral purpose a woman from Caguas to Aguadilla, in Puerto Rico, on December 24, 1943, there being five different women transported.

Acquitted on the first count for conspiracy, the defendant was convicted on each of the substantive offense counts and sentenced to imprisonment for five years on the second count, and two years on each of the other counts, to run consecutively.

The Statute is made applicable in express terms to such transportation "in any territory," as well as in interstate and foreign commerce and the District of Columbia; but the appellant claims that it could not have been the intent of Congress "to intervene in matters of interest only to the people of Puerto Rico, that is to say, regulating immorality in general which is within the proper and exclusive domain of the legislature of Puerto Rico"; and that the Federal Act should not be considered as applicable there.

We cannot agree with this contention. There is no ambiguity to clear up by resorting to evidence of the intention of Congress, but, if such is resorted to, it is apparent that Congress had definitely in mind transportation within the territories and possessions of the United States, without exception, as well as in interstate commerce. The Committee Report says, of the proposed Act "All of the provisions which make the crime depend upon transportation in interstate or foreign commerce are made applicable to the District of Columbia, the territories and possessions of the United States, including the Panama Canal Zone, without regard to the crossing of district, territorial or state lines, and apply within the territories to the same extent as they apply in cases outside of the territories in interstate or foreign commerce". H.Rep. No.47, 61st Cong., 2nd Session. S.Rep.No. 886. There could hardly be a clearer statement of purpose.

There is no question as to the power of Congress to legislate for the territories nor that Puerto Rico is a territory within the meaning of the Act. Downes v. Bidwell, 1901, 182 U.S. 244, 287, 21 S. Ct. 770, 45 L.Ed. 1088; People of Puerto Rico v. Shell Co., 1937, 302 U.S. 253, 58 S.Ct. 167, 82 L.Ed. 235; Cases v. United States, 1 Cir., 1942, 131 F.2d 916, certiorari denied 319 U.S. 770, 63 S.Ct. 1431, 87 L. Ed. 1718.

It cannot be doubted that the Act applies to transportation wholly within Puerto Rico. United States v. Beach, 1945, 324 U.S. 193, 65 S.Ct. 602; Sun Chong Lee v. United States, 9 Cir., 1942, 125 F.2d 95.

The defendant's objections to the judge's charge to the jury have no merit. It is argued that in the example of circumstantial evidence given in the charge the court did not make it clear that the circumstances must be consistent with guilt only. That point was made before the jury retired, and the judge thereupon charged that "The circumstances relied upon must be consistent with and point unerringly to...

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28 practice notes
  • United States v. Mercado-Flores, Crim. No. 14–466 (GAG).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Puerto Rico
    • 4 Junio 2015
    ...its argument by citing two cases: United States v. Beach, 324 U.S. 193, 65 S.Ct. 602, 89 L.Ed. 865 (1945) and Crespo v. United States, 151 F.2d 44 (1st Cir.1945). (Id. at 4–6.) In those cases, the Supreme Court and the First Circuit held that the Mann Act applies to acts occurring wholly wi......
  • United States v. LebróN-Caceres, CRIMINAL NO. 15-279 (PAD)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Puerto Rico
    • 14 Enero 2016
    ...to the Federal Relations Act. In consequence, it applied to Puerto Rico before that legislative milestone. See, Crespo v. United States, 151 F.2d 44 (1st Cir. 1945)(applying Mann Act to acts occurring wholly within the territories and possessions of the United States, including Puerto Rico)......
  • United States v. Cotto-Flores, No. 18-2013
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • 10 Agosto 2020
    ...purely local crime or other internal affairs in Puerto Rico that Congress could not reach in the states. See Crespo v. United States, 151 F.2d 44, 45 (1st Cir. 1945). We assume (because Cotto does not dispute) that even after 1952, Congress may still regulate such intra-Puerto Rico conduct,......
  • United States v. Lebrón-Caceres, CRIMINAL NO. 15-279 (PAD)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Puerto Rico
    • 14 Enero 2016
    ...to the Federal Relations Act. In consequence, it applied to Puerto Rico before that legislative milestone. See , Crespo v. United States , 151 F.2d 44 (1st Cir.1945) (applying Mann Act to acts occurring wholly within the territories and possessions of the United States, including Puerto Ric......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
28 cases
  • United States v. Mercado-Flores, Crim. No. 14–466 (GAG).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Puerto Rico
    • 4 Junio 2015
    ...its argument by citing two cases: United States v. Beach, 324 U.S. 193, 65 S.Ct. 602, 89 L.Ed. 865 (1945) and Crespo v. United States, 151 F.2d 44 (1st Cir.1945). (Id. at 4–6.) In those cases, the Supreme Court and the First Circuit held that the Mann Act applies to acts occurring wholly wi......
  • United States v. LebróN-Caceres, CRIMINAL NO. 15-279 (PAD)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Puerto Rico
    • 14 Enero 2016
    ...to the Federal Relations Act. In consequence, it applied to Puerto Rico before that legislative milestone. See, Crespo v. United States, 151 F.2d 44 (1st Cir. 1945)(applying Mann Act to acts occurring wholly within the territories and possessions of the United States, including Puerto Rico)......
  • United States v. Cotto-Flores, No. 18-2013
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • 10 Agosto 2020
    ...purely local crime or other internal affairs in Puerto Rico that Congress could not reach in the states. See Crespo v. United States, 151 F.2d 44, 45 (1st Cir. 1945). We assume (because Cotto does not dispute) that even after 1952, Congress may still regulate such intra-Puerto Rico conduct,......
  • United States v. Lebrón-Caceres, CRIMINAL NO. 15-279 (PAD)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Puerto Rico
    • 14 Enero 2016
    ...to the Federal Relations Act. In consequence, it applied to Puerto Rico before that legislative milestone. See , Crespo v. United States , 151 F.2d 44 (1st Cir.1945) (applying Mann Act to acts occurring wholly within the territories and possessions of the United States, including Puerto Ric......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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