Submitted: September 28, 2018
from United States District Court for the Southern District
of Iowa - Des Moines
LOKEN, BENTON, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.
BENTON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
convicted Randall Scott Davenport of two counts of sexual
exploitation of a child and production of child pornography
under 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a), and one count of possession
of child pornography under 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B),
(b)(2). The district court sentenced him to 840 months'
imprisonment. Davenport appeals, arguing the district court
should have granted his motions for judgment of acquittal and
for new trial, due to insufficient evidence. He also contends
the district court erred in applying various sentencing
enhancements, making his sentence substantively unreasonable.
Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this court
MD told police that her father-Randall Davenport-had explicit
photographs of her on his cell phone and tablet device. She
said Davenport had been touching her inappropriately for
three to four years, confirming in an interview the next day
that it began when she was 11 or 12 years old. MD described
how she would wake up to him masturbating, touching her
genitals, and inserting his fingers or a vibrator inside her
vagina. According to MD, Davenport had sexual intercourse
with her eight or nine times. If she resisted, he held down
her wrists and thrusted with greater force.
day MD first spoke to police, they went to Davenport's
home to speak with him and Mildred Thompson, MD's mother.
He consented to a search of his cell phone, but told police
he had no other electronic devices. While interviewing
Davenport and Thompson, however, police recovered two other
devices-a laptop in plain view and the tablet MD had
described to police, which Thompson found-after police
questioned her about it-hidden under a sofa.
later interviewed Davenport twice. He initially called
MD's allegations "out of left field," but then
admitted he "probably" took nude photographs of MD
on his cell phone. He told police that while MD was sleeping,
he would pull her clothes aside, touch her vagina, and
penetrate her with his fingers or a vibrator.
later, Thompson turned over a second laptop computer she
found in the basement. It had at least 10 inappropriate
photographs taken with a Panasonic camera and saved in the
"dad" folder. In the photos, the victim is lying on
a bed wearing red-and-black pajama shorts. A
blue-and-gray-cat blanket is visible in many of the images.
The photos depict male hands pulling away the victim's
underwear and touching or penetrating her vagina. Based on
the second-laptop images, the government charged Davenport
with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and
production of child pornography, and one count of possession
of child pornography. The district court denied
Davenport's motion for a directed verdict or judgment of
acquittal. The jury convicted on all counts. Davenport moved
for a new trial based on the weight of the evidence, which
court reviews de novo the denial of a motion for judgment of
acquittal. United States v. Lundstrom, 880 F.3d 423,
436 (8th Cir. 2018). "We consider the evidence, and all
reasonable inferences that may be drawn therefrom, in the
light most favorable to the jury's verdict."
Id. Under this "very strict standard of
review," this court reverses only if no reasonable jury
could have found Davenport guilty. Id.
court reviews the denial of a motion for new trial for abuse
of discretion. United States v. Davis, 534 F.3d 903,
912 (8th Cir. 2008). A motion for new trial based on
sufficiency of evidence is disfavored. Id. The court
may grant a motion for a new trial "where the evidence
presented weighs heavily enough against the verdict that the
court believes a miscarriage of justice may have
argues the district court erred in denying his motions for
acquittal and for new trial because there was insufficient
evidence for all three counts. To convict a defendant of
sexual exploitation of a child and production of child
pornography, the jury must find that "the child named in
the indictment was under the age of eighteen during the time
period alleged in the indictment, that the defendant acted
with the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the
conduct, and that the materials used to produce the visual
depiction were mailed, shipped, or transported, including by
computer, in interstate or foreign commerce." United
States v. Wallace, 713 F.3d 422, 428 (8th Cir. 2013).
According to Davenport, the ...