U.S. v. Sagg, No. 96-10223

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation125 F.3d 1294
Parties97 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 7553, 97 Daily Journal D.A.R. 12,166 UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Charles SAGG, Jr., Defendant-Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 96-10223
Decision Date15 September 1997

Page 1294

125 F.3d 1294
97 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 7553, 97 Daily Journal
D.A.R. 12,166
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Charles SAGG, Jr., Defendant-Appellant.
No. 96-10223.
United States Court of Appeals,
Ninth Circuit.
Submitted Sept. 15, 1997. *
Decided Sept. 23, 1997.

Gregg H. Griffith, Phoenix, Arizona, for Defendant-Appellant.

Joseph C. Welty, Assistant United States Attorney, Phoenix, Arizona, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona; Roger G. Strand, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CR-95-00261-RGS.

Before: BROWNING and THOMPSON, Circuit Judges, and MOSKOWITZ, District Judge. **

Page 1295

PER CURIAM:

Reduced to its simplest terms, the issue we decide in this case, as it is framed by the defendant, is: Can a sleeping child engage in sexual contact as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2246(3)?

FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

The defendant Sagg entered his sleeping ten-year-old stepdaughter's room. He took the sleeping child's hand, placed it around his penis, and ejaculated. The sleeping child remained asleep. Sagg was indicted on one count of Abusive Sexual Contact in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2244(a)(1). "Sexual Contact" is defined as "the intentional touching ... of the genitalia ... of any person with the intent to ... arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person." 18 U.S.C. § 2246(3).

Prior to jury selection, the court discussed with the parties their legal theories of the case and the formulation of jury instructions. Sagg argued that his conduct, though repulsive, was not prohibited by the statute. He argued that he could not have "caused" an "intentional touching" because the toucher (his stepdaughter) remained asleep and could not have had any "intent." The government responded that the "intentional" touching required by the statute referred to the defendant's mental state. The court agreed with the government's interpretation and ruled that the jury instructions would explain that the phrase "intentional touching" as used in 18 U.S.C. § 2246(3) referred to the defendant's state of mind. Sagg then entered a conditional plea of guilty, preserving his right to appeal this issue. This appeal followed.

DISCUSSION

We interpret a federal statute by ascertaining the intent of Congress and by giving effect to its legislative will. Where the intent of Congress is evidenced clearly in the language of the statute, our inquiry ends there. If, however, the statutory language gives rise to more than one reasonable interpretation, our duty is to find that interpretation which can most fairly be said to be imbedded in the statute, in...

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8 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Rosenthal, No. CR 02-00053 CRB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • May 16, 2003
    ..."interpret a federal statute by ascertaining the intent of Congress and by giving effect to its legislative will." United States v. Sagg, 125 F.3d 1294, 1295 (9th Cir.1997). The starting point "is the language of the statute itself." United States v. Buckland 289 F.3d 558, 564 (9th Cir.2002......
  • Sifferman v. Chelan Cnty., 54514-4-II
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • September 28, 2021
    ..." ‘[w]here the intent of Congress is evidenced clearly in the language of the statute, our inquiry ends there.’ " United States v. Sagg , 125 F.3d 1294, 1295 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting United States v. Koyomejian , 946 F.2d 1450, 1453 (9th Cir. 1991) (citations omitted)). The United States Su......
  • Sifferman v. Chelan Cnty., 54514-4-II
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • September 28, 2021
    ..."'[w]here the intent of Congress is evidenced clearly in the language of the statute, our inquiry ends there.'" United States v. Sagg, 125 F.3d 1294, 1295 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting United States v. Koyomejian, 946 F.2d 1450, 1453 (9th Cir. 1991) (citations omitted)). The United States Suprem......
  • U.S. v. Shafer, No. 07-2574.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • July 21, 2009
    ...because the term "intentional touching" is not at issue in the instant case, the Government's reliance on United States v. Sagg, 125 F.3d 1294 (9th Cir. 1997), in its petition for rehearing is misplaced. In Sagg, the defendant entered the bedroom of his sleeping ten-year-old stepdaughter, w......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • U.S. v. Rosenthal, No. CR 02-00053 CRB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • May 16, 2003
    ..."interpret a federal statute by ascertaining the intent of Congress and by giving effect to its legislative will." United States v. Sagg, 125 F.3d 1294, 1295 (9th Cir.1997). The starting point "is the language of the statute itself." United States v. Buckland 289 F.3d 558, 564 (9th Cir.2002......
  • Sifferman v. Chelan Cnty., 54514-4-II
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • September 28, 2021
    ..." ‘[w]here the intent of Congress is evidenced clearly in the language of the statute, our inquiry ends there.’ " United States v. Sagg , 125 F.3d 1294, 1295 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting United States v. Koyomejian , 946 F.2d 1450, 1453 (9th Cir. 1991) (citations omitted)). The United States Su......
  • Sifferman v. Chelan Cnty., 54514-4-II
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • September 28, 2021
    ..."'[w]here the intent of Congress is evidenced clearly in the language of the statute, our inquiry ends there.'" United States v. Sagg, 125 F.3d 1294, 1295 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting United States v. Koyomejian, 946 F.2d 1450, 1453 (9th Cir. 1991) (citations omitted)). The United States Suprem......
  • U.S. v. Shafer, No. 07-2574.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • July 21, 2009
    ...because the term "intentional touching" is not at issue in the instant case, the Government's reliance on United States v. Sagg, 125 F.3d 1294 (9th Cir. 1997), in its petition for rehearing is misplaced. In Sagg, the defendant entered the bedroom of his sleeping ten-year-old stepdaughter, w......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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