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Name: People v. Spurlock
Case #: A098167
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 01/08/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 3/24/04

In some circumstances, the exhibition of partially clothed genitals can constitute sexual conduct within the meaning of California’s laws concerning the creation of child pornography and sexual exploitation. The defendant was convicted of violations of Penal Code sections 311.3 and 311.4 based on his photographing of a fifteen-year-old girl wearing bikini underwear and posing suggestively. He challenged his conviction on the basis that the trial court had incorrectly instructed the jury that exhibition of the genitals for purposes of sexual stimulation of the viewer could be through clothing. The appellate court disagreed, holding that this instruction was proper under both state and federal law. Defendant also argued that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on the meaning of “exhibition of the genitals” and “for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer,” but the appellate court ruled that these were ordinary words not requiring definition. Finally, the court held that sections 311.3 and 311.4 were not unconstitutionally vague and did not otherwise deprive the defendant of due process under the state or federal constitutions, and that defendant’s convictions were supported by substantial evidence.