Appeals Court Overturns West Texas Man's Conviction

Associated Press - February 25, 2011 9:15 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal appeals court has overturned the conviction of a West Texas man charged with one count of production of child pornography for secretly videotaping a 16-year-old girl at an Odessa tanning salon.

In a decision released Friday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the video discovered on Alan Ray Steen's camera was not sexually explicit and didn't rise to the federal legal definitions that would have made the video warrant the charge.

Steen was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the April 2009 incident. The appeals court reversed the conviction, saying Steen's conduct did not constitute the crime in which he was charged and that the case should not have gone to a jury.

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