United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Rock Island Division
DARROW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant Hill's motion to dismiss the
indictment, ECF No. 13. For the following reasons, the motion
is GRANTED and the indictment, ECF No. 9, DISMISSED.
had been convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault in
Henry County, Illinois on August 27, 1987. Compl. Aff. ¶
7. As a consequence of this conviction, Hill was required to
register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender
Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”).
Indictment. By June 2016, he was living in Rock Island,
Illinois. Id. ¶ 3. He was evicted from his Rock
Island residence on June 3, 2016. Id. On July 29,
2016, he told Rock Island policemen that he had been living
in Davenport, Iowa since July 5, 2016. Id. at ¶
criminal complaint in this matter was filed on August 31,
2016, alleging that Hill had failed to register as a sex
offender as required by 18 U.S.C. § 2250. ECF No. 1. An
indictment followed on September 20, 2016, alleging the same
argues that the indictment must be dismissed because venue
does not lie in the Central District of Illinois. Mot.
Legal Standard on a Motion to Dismiss
to a criminal proceeding may raise by pretrial motion any
objection, defense, or request that the court can determine
without a trial on the merits. Fed. R. Crim. P. 12(b)(1). One
such defense is that the prosecution has been instituted in
an improper venue. Id. 12(b)(3)(A)(i). In
considering such a motion, a court assumes all facts in the
indictment are true and views those facts in the light most
favorable to the government. United States v.
Yashar, 166 F.3d 873, 880 (7th Cir.1999); see also
United States v. Pitt-Des Moines, Inc., 970 F.Supp.
1346, 1349 (N.D.Ill. 1997) (comparing a motion to dismiss an
indictment to a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss); United States v. Andrews, 749
F.Supp. 1520, 1521 (N.D. Ill.1990).
disagreement in this case stems from the government's
insistence that Hill ought to be tried for failing to update
his sex offender registration in a venue where, concededly,
he had no obligation to do so. Resp. Mot. Dismiss 10, ECF No.
United States Constitution, federal statute, and the federal
rules of criminal procedure require a federal defendant to be
tried in the federal judicial district where that crime is
alleged to have occurred. U.S. Const. art. III, § 2, cl.
3 (“Trial of all Crimes . . . shall be held in the
State where the said Crimes shall have been
committed.”); id. amend. VI (guaranteeing a
defendant a trial “by an impartial jury of the State
and district where the crime shall have been
committed”); 18 U.S.C. § 3237 (“Except as
otherwise expressly provided by enactment of Congress, any
offense against the United States begun in one district and
completed in another, or committed in more than one district,
may be inquired of and prosecuted in any district in which
such offense was begun, continued, or completed.”);
Fed. R. Crim. P. 18 (“Unless a statute or these rules
permit otherwise, the government must prosecute an offense in
a district where the offense was committed.”). For
venue in a given judicial district to be proper, “[t]he
government must establish, by a preponderance of the evidence
. . . that the offense occurred in the district in which it
was brought.” United States v.
Herrera-Ordones, 190 F.3d 504, 509 (7th Cir. 1999).
Disputed facts are construed in the light most favorable to
the government. Id.
who is required to register as a sex offender under SORNA who
“knowingly fails to register or update a registration
as required by [SORNA]” breaks the law, provided that
he has also traveled in interstate commerce. 18 U.S.C. §
2250. SORNA, in turn, requires that a sex offender
not later than 3 business days after each change of name,
residence, employment, or student status, appear in person in
at least 1 jurisdiction involved pursuant to subsection (a)
of this section and inform that jurisdiction of all changes
in the information required for that offender in the sex
offender registry. That jurisdiction shall immediately