Keller v. United States
United States Supreme Court
KELLER v. UNITED STATES
Argued: March 1, 1909. --- Decided: April 5, 1909
Section 3 of the act of Congress of February 20, 1907 (34 Stat. at L. 898, 899, chap. 1134, U.S.C.omp. Stat. Supp. 1907, pp. 389, 392), entitled 'An Act to Regulate the Immigration of Aliens into the United States,' reads as follows:
'Sec. 3. That the importation into the United States of any alien woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution, or for any other immoral purpose, is hereby forbidden; and whoever shall, directly or indirectly, import, or attempt to import, into the United States, any alien woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution, or for any other immoral purpose, or whoever shall hold or attempt to hold any alien woman or girl for any such purpose in pursuance of such illegal importation, or whoever shall keep, maintain, control, support, or harbor in any house or other place, for the purpose of prostitution, or for any other immoral purpose, any alien woman or girl, within three years after she shall have entered the United States, shall, in every such case, be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, be imprisoned not more than five years, and pay a fine of not more than five thousand dollars; and any alien woman or girl who shall be found an inmate of a house of prostitution or practising prostitution, at any time within three years after she shall have entered the United States, shall be deemed to be unlawfully within the United States, and shall be deported as provided by sections twenty and twenty-one of this act.'
The plaintiffs in error were indicted for a violation of this section, the charge against them being based upon that portion of the section which is in italics, and, in terms, that they 'wilfully and knowingly did keep, maintain, control, support, and harbor in their certain house of prostitution' (describing it), 'for the purpose of prostitution, a certain alien woman, to wit, Irene Bodi,' who was, as they well knew, a subject of the King of Hungary, who had entered the United States within three years. A trial was had upon this indictment; the plaintiffs in error were convicted and sentenced to the penitentiary for eighteen months.
Messrs. Benjamin C. Bachrach and Elijah N. Zoline for plaintiffs in error.
[Argement of counsel from pages 140-141 intentionally omitted.]
Assistant Attorney General Fowler for defendant in error.
[Argement of counsel from Pages 141-143 intentionally omitted.]
Statement by Mr. Justice Brewer:
Mr. Justice Brewer delivered the opinion of the court:
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