United States v. Jakes-Johnson


20-2310 U.S. v. Jakes-Johnson UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT SUMMARY ORDER RULINGS BY SUMMARY ORDER DO NOT HAVE PRECEDENTIAL EFFECT. CITATION TO A SUMMARY ORDER FILED ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2007, IS PERMITTED AND IS GOVERNED BY FEDERAL RULE OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE 32.1 AND THIS COURT’S LOCAL RULE 32.1.1. WHEN CITING A SUMMARY ORDER IN A DOCUMENT FILED WITH THIS COURT, A PARTY MUST CITE EITHER THE FEDERAL APPENDIX OR AN ELECTRONIC DATABASE (WITH THE NOTATION “SUMMARY ORDER”). A PARTY CITING TO A SUMMARY ORDER MUST SERVE A COPY OF IT ON ANY PARTY NOT REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL. At a stated term of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, held at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, in the City of New York, on the 14th day of July, two thousand twenty-one. PRESENT: SUSAN L. CARNEY, RICHARD J. SULLIVAN, JOSEPH F. BIANCO, Circuit Judges. _________________________________________ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee, v. No. 20-2310 BENJAMIN JAKES-JOHNSON, Defendant-Appellant. _________________________________________ FOR APPELLANT: ANDREA G. HIRSCH, Esq., New York, NY (Marc C. Kokosa, The Kokosa Law Firm, P.C., Latham, NY, on the brief). FOR APPELLEE: MICHAEL D. GADARIAN (Geoffrey J.L. Brown, on the brief), Assistant United States Attorneys, for Antoinette T. Bacon, Acting United States Attorney, Northern District of New York, Syracuse, NY. Appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (McAvoy, J.). UPON DUE CONSIDERATION WHEREOF, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the judgment entered on July 15, and signed on July 21, 2020, is AFFIRMED. Benjamin Jakes-Johnson appeals from a judgment of conviction on counts of distribution of child pornography, see 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(2)(A), (b)(1), attempted receipt of child pornography, see id., and possession of child pornography, see id. § 2252A(a)(5)(B), (b)(2), entered following his March 2020 jury trial. We assume the parties’ familiarity with the underlying facts, procedural history, and arguments on appeal, to which we refer only as necessary to explain our decision to affirm. I. Limitation of Expert Testimony At trial, Jakes-Johnson asserted an insanity defense. In support of the defense, he called expert witness Dr. Eric Goldsmith, a forensic psychiatrist, to testify that Jakes- Johnson suffered from “Complex PTSD” (post-traumatic stress disorder) arising from a devastating childhood in which Jakes-Johnson was subjected to continuing and severe sexual abuse. Gov’t App’x 138. Dr. Goldsmith told the jury that Jakes-Johnson “downloaded[] [and] traded child pornography” during a “period[] of time . . . that he was suffering with a return of . . . dissociative, severe posttraumatic symptoms.” Id. at 139. In Dr. Goldsmith’s opinion, Jakes-Johnson viewed child pornography to “help[] diminish the overwhelming, distressing posttraumatic symptoms and that dissociative state that he[] [was] in.” Id. at 140. After eliciting substantial testimony about the relationship between Jakes-Johnson’s described PTSD and his offense conduct, defense counsel sought to ask Dr. Goldsmith the following question: “And a person suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, can that, in your opinion …

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