Question

CRIMINAL

Undercover detective Johnson is investigating an extortion ring in which suspects Mark, Sam and Jose are involved. An informant informed Johnson that these guys (above-mentioned) have been coercing young girls and boys (aged 15-17) into participating in pornography by threatening to tell their families that they are going to “rave” parties and using drugs, which the young persons have in fact been doing and each were filmed by Mark doing drugs at three separate parties. The young person’s felt forced to make the pornographic movies, but, did make 12 movies with several older adults before Johnson got involved.

During the investigation, Johnson acted as a porn movie distributor and tried gathering information from the three suspects (above). At a meeting with Mark, Sam and Jose, Johnson learned from the suspects: That Jose, 22, was asking other young persons (under 18) to make porn movies; That Sam, 21, in fact had consensual sex with a 15 year old female (Mary) and a 17 year old male (Jerry) in one of the movies; That Mark, 24, had confined a 15 year old girl (Samantha) in his garage while his parents were out of town and that Mark had repeatedly on 4 occasions sexually assaulted her forcibly, beat her with fists and burned her with lit cigarettes. Samantha has been released now and she is expected to make a full recovery. The age of consent in this state is 16 and over and “producing child pornography” is a specific intent felony. Johnson then asks Mark to make a porn movies for him, Johnson, with only young girls under 13 and Mark says “No way man, you sound pervy.” Johnson persists and finally, after 2 hours of discussion, Johnson finally persuades Mark to make the movie with 14 year old girls. Johnson also learns from their statements at this meeting that Jose is being forced to participate in these crimes by Sam, based upon Sam’s statement to Jose that “you’ll either do as me and Mark tell you or we’ll kill you!”. Johnson then stands up, identifies himself as a police officer and arrests all three: Mark, Sam and Jose. Sam then offers Johnson $10,000 to let them all go free, which Johnson declines.
1. Name all charges that can be alleged against Mark, Sam and Jose and what the form on intent (malice, general etc.) is as to each charge. Discuss the “Wharton rule” and whether it applies here and, if so, how.
2. Name and discuss in detail any and all defenses, if any, each defendant may have. Discuss these defenses separately as to each defendant.
3. If convicted, what factors may the court properly consider in sentencing as proper purposes for punishment for criminal acts?

TORT
At 1:00 a.m. on Black Friday, Mario Rodriguez and his wife, Maria, drove to a local Walmart to begin their holiday shopping. The couple planned to purchase several CDs and DVDs as “stocking stuffers” for their two young children. When they arrived at the store, it was a madhouse. For that reason (and because it was freezing outside), Maria decided to remain in the couple’s parked car, while Mario went in to do the shopping. From where the car was parked, Maria had a clear view of the store’s exit door, although it was 100 yards away.

Remarkably, Mario was able to find all of the items he was shopping for (a total of 10 CDs and DVDs) and went directly to a check-out counter, where he was greeted by Walmart cashier, I.M. Distracted, a trainee, who the store recently had hired to help with the holiday rush. I.M. managed to get it “mostly right,” but neglected to run the final CD over the magnetic plate that disabled the security device on purchased items. Mario paid his bill in full and headed for the exit, which was crowded with arriving and departing customers.

As Mario and several other customers passed through the security checkpoint, an alarm sounded. Having no reason to believe it applied to him (after all he thought he had paid for all the items he purchased) and eager to get out of the cold and back to the car, Mario began to jog from the store with his bag in hand. As he did, two Walmart employees and a private security officer, who the store had hired, began chasing after Mario, believing he was shoplifting. Mario, thinking he was being targeted by thugs intent on stealing his merchandise, ran faster.

Seconds later, Mario stepped in a large pothole, breaking his leg and causing him to fall to the ground. As he did, the security officer jumped on Mario’s back and pinned him to the ground, while the two Walmart employees pummeled him almost into unconsciousness. Maria, who had watched all of this unfold before her eyes, got out of the car to run to her husband’s aid, but was overcome with emotion and fainted. The police and paramedics arrived a few minutes later and, after rushing Mario and Maria to a nearby hospital, unraveled the terrible “misunderstanding.”

Two weeks later, Mario and Maria arrive at the law office where you are working and the attorney assigns you to conduct the intake interview. The Rodriguez’ want short answers to the following questions:
1. Do Mario and/or Maria have a claim or claims against Walmart and, if so, what is the nature of the claim(s) and what are the issues that are likely to arise;
2. Do Mario and/or Maria have a claim or claims against the private security officer and his employer and, if so, what is the nature of the claim(s) and what are the issues that are likely to arise;
3. Do Mario and/or Maria have a claim against the owner of the strip shopping center where the Walmart store is located and, if so, what is the nature of the claim(s) and what are the issues that are likely to arise; and
4. If the answers to Questions 1, 2 or 3 are “yes,” what kinds of damages are Mario and/or Maria entitled to recover?

One final note: Walmart has a corporate policy that strictly prohibits employees from: (1) touching customers; and (2) following or approaching customers after they have left the store.

TORT
At 11:30 p.m., on November 1, 2013, A.J. Dodson, age 82, grabbed his son’s car keys off the kitchen counter in an apartment that he shared with his son and, against doctor’s orders, headed out for a late night spin. A.J. recently had suffered a minor heart attack and was warned by doctors not to operate a car while he was getting adjusted to his new blood pressure medication, as extreme dizziness and disorientation were two of its many known side effects. A.J. proceeded north on Biscayne Boulevard in the general direction of Midtown. Fortunately, traffic was light. In fact, the only other car within a mile of A.J. was a 2012 Corvette driven by Cindy McDonald. Cindy was on her way home from work and was trailing A.J. by 200 yards or so in the same (center) lane of travel.

All of a sudden, Cindy noticed that A.J. had begun to weave in and out of the center lane.   Initially, she thought nothing of it, assuming the driver had simply had a little too much to drink. However, her indifference turned to panic as she looked in the distance, approximately a mile away, and saw that she and A.J. were approaching a bus bench crowded with people, including children, on the right hand side of the road. Fearing for their safety, Cindy hopped on the accelerator to catch up with A.J. As she approached the vehicle at a high rate of speed (i.e., well in excess of the posted speed limit), she saw A.J. with what appeared to be a dazed look on his face. Concluding she had no choice but to take immediate action, Cindy rammed into the left front fender of the vehicle A.J. was driving.

The impact between the two vehicles forced A.J.’s vehicle off the roadway, where it slammed into (and destroyed) two unoccupied parked cars and an aluminum light pole before coming to rest 200 yards from the bus bench. Unfortunately, however, the combination of the collision with A.J. and the excessive speed needed to catch up with him, in turn, caused Cindy to lose control of her car. Ironically, but quite unintentionally, she slammed into the crowded park bench, killing a young boy, who was accompanied by his parents, and severely injuring several other bystanders. Paramedics later arrived and rushed the injured to several local hospitals. Among the injured was A.J., who, it turns out, had simply suffered an adverse reaction to his medication that caused him to become only momentarily disoriented.
The following morning the local newspaper ran a photograph of Cindy standing next to her totaled car under the headline: “SUSPECTED DRUNK DRIVER CAUSES LATE NIGHT CHAOS!”

You work for a small personal injury firm that is the only game in town and over the next two weeks your phone is ringing off the hook with the plethora of potential claims arising out of this “accident.” The firm’s senior partner has asked you to prepare a short memo sorting all of this out, so that he can decide who to represent (i.e., who has a good claim and who does not). The partner wants short answers to these questions:
1. What torts, if any, did A.J. commit and who is likely to have a viable claim against him (explain).
2. What torts, if any, did Cindy commit and who is likely to have a viable claim against her (explain).
3. What torts did the local newspaper commit, if any, and who is likely to have a viable claim against it (explain).

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Question 1
All three suspects committed crimes intentionally.
Charges against Mark
Mark will be charged for sexually assaulting a minor, which is an offence under the Sexual Offences Act of United States of America (10 U.S. Code § 920 - Art. 120). It prohibits sexual offences such as rape and other forms of sexual assault. He will also be charged for battery of Samantha and infliction of grievous injuries through burning her. Also, he can be charged for crimes against public policy that is engaging in crimes that are not allowed in the public such as participation in making of pornographic movies....

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