The Appellate Group

State v. Jordan

State v. Jordan, 2021 UT 37 (Lee, A.C.J.)


Mr. Jordan sexually abused his two stepsons for years. After the abuse was reported, the police found multiple images of the abuse on his laptop. The jury found him guilty on all counts, including child pornography charges depicting his nude toddler son and four other photos of persons. On appeal to the Utah Court of Appeals, Jordan raised multiple ineffective assistance of counsel claims and filed a rule 23B motion for remand. The court of appeals affirmed in part, reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded to develop the record under rule 23B. On certiorari, The Utah Supreme Court affirmed, holding:

  • The court of appeals correctly determined that the State’s comment drawing the jury’s attention to Jordan’s “subjective intent” in creating Exhibit 21—a nude photo of his toddler son—was lawful under Utah Code 76-5b-103(10)(f). A visual depiction of child nudity qualifies as child pornography if it was produced for the purpose of sexual arousal. An ineffective assistance of counsel claim fails on that basis.

Read the full court opinion