Argued: April 2, 2019
from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia, at Norfolk. Rebecca Beach Smith,
District Judge. (2:15-cr-00029-RBS-LRL-1; 2:16-cv-00736-RBS)
Gregory M. Lipper, CLINTON BROOK & PEED, Washington,
D.C., for Appellant.
Taylor Young, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY,
Alexandria, Virginia, for Appellee.
Danielle Alexandria Phillips, WASHINGTON & LEE UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF LAW, Lexington, Virginia, for Amicus Washington and
Law University School of Law Administrative Litigation
Matthew J. Peed, CLINTON BROOK & PEED, Washington, D.C.,
Zachary Terwilliger, United States Attorney, Alexandria,
Virginia, Elizabeth M. Yusi, Assistant United States
Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Norfolk,
Virginia, for Appellee.
Elizabeth A. Franklin-Best, Vice-Chairperson Amicus
Committee, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS,
Columbia, South Carolina; Jonathan L. Marcus, Paul M. Kerlin,
Shekida Smith, Ryan Travers, Jeongu Gim, SKADDEN, ARPS,
SLATE, MEAGHER & FLOM, LLP, for Amicus National
Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Timothy C. MacDonnell, WASHINGTON & LEE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL
OF LAW, Lexington, Virginia, for Amicus Washington and Law
University School of Law Advanced Administrative Litigation
GREGORY, Chief Judge, and KING, Circuit Judge. 
GREGORY, CHIEF JUDGE.
Ryan Courtade seeks post-conviction relief in connection with
his guilty plea for possession of child pornography in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B). The district
court denied Courtade's motion under 28 U.S.C. §
2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence. Finding
no error, we affirm the judgment of the district court.
August 2014, investigators with the Chesapeake Police
Department received a complaint from Courtade's wife
alleging that she had discovered Courtade in the bedroom of
Jane Doe, his 14-year-old stepdaughter, kneeling by the bed
with his hands underneath the sheets while she was asleep.
When the police arrived at the residence, an officer found
Courtade inside his car breaking a CD. The officer asked
Courtade what was on the CD, and he responded that there was
"a video of Jane Doe, naked and in the shower." A
member of the U.S. Navy who had served as a combat
photographer, Courtade said that he had instructed Jane Doe
to take the camera-a GoPro video camera belonging to the
Navy-into the shower with her "to see if the camera was
waterproof." With Courtade's consent, the police
then seized computers and other equipment from the residence.
On a laptop was a 24-minute video of Jane Doe showering.
to a Statement of Facts that Courtade signed, the video
begins with Courtade turning on the camera and placing it on
the bathroom counter facing the shower. Courtade speaks with
Jane Doe and then leaves, at which point Jane Doe
"undresses completely, gets in the shower, closes the
shower curtain, and turns on the shower." Jane Doe then
calls for Courtade, who reenters the bathroom and hands her
the camera over the shower rod. Jane Doe holds the camera
under the water before returning it to Courtade, who reviews
the camera and hands it back to Jane Doe with instructions to
put it on the shower floor. Jane Doe complies and then gives
the camera back to Courtade. Courtade again places the camera
on the bathroom counter facing the shower and leaves the
bathroom. Jane Doe "peeks out at the camera a few
times," and then exits "at the far end of the
shower, drops to the floor, and crawls out of the view of the
camera below the countertop." She reappears at the other
side of the camera's frame, "dries off, gets
dressed," and leaves the bathroom. During the video,
Jane Doe's "breasts and genitals are visible at
March 2015, a grand jury returned a two-count indictment
against Courtade, and a superseding indictment followed.
Count One charged Courtade with production of child
pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a), and
Count Two charged him with possession of child pornography in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B). In July 2015,
the government offered Courtade a plea deal on Count Two,
which carried no mandatory minimum and a 10-year statutory
maximum. Count One had a 15-year mandatory minimum ...