Adding to a circuit split, the Sixth Circuit deferred to the Board of Immigration Appeals' decision in Matter of Esquivel-Quintana.  In so doing, the court rejected the Ninth and Fourth Circuit's reliance on 18 U.S.C. § 2243(a) for determining when statutory rape crimes qualify as sexual abuse of a minor aggravated felonies. 

The court also declined to apply the rule of lenity, finding that even though a criminal statute was at issue, it was being interpreted in the civil context, and thus, the rule of lenity did not apply.  The court acknowledged a growing trend to apply the rule to the interpretation of a criminal statute in the civil context. 

The full text of Esquivel-Quintana v. Lynch can be found here: