D exchanged email messages with Gonda which expressed a sexual interest in violence against women and girls.
D had posted a number of fictional stories to alt.sex.stories which involved abduction, rape, torture, mutilation, and murder of women and young girls.
One day, D posted a such a story about a young woman who shared a name with one of D's classmates.
D was charged with transmitting any communication containing threats to kidnap or injure another person.
Trial court found D guilty.
6th Cir COA reversed, D not guilty.
Can a person be convicted of a crime that they merely fantasize and write about?
A person cannot usually be convicted of a crime that they merely fantasize and write about.
D did not make a threat with these emails he sent to Gonda. Threats are tools that are employed when one wishes to have some effect or achieve some goal through intimidation.
A communication objectively indicting a serious expression of an intention to inflict bodily harm cannot constitute a threat unless the communication also is conveyed for the purpose of furthering some goal through the use of intimidation.
The statute does not confine the scope of criminalized communications to those directed to identified individuals and intended to effect some particular change or goal.
A simple, credible declaration of an intention to cause injury to some person, made for any reason, or for no reason whatsoever, may also constitute a threat.
D was a lot sicker than the majority lets on.
Gov't did not charge based on the story posted on the newsgroup which used the name of D's classmate, only on basis of emails.