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Criminal Jury Instructions

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7.5-2  Public Indecency -- § 53a-186

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count __] with public indecency.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows:

a person is guilty of public indecency when (he/she) performs (an act of sexual intercourse / a lewd exposure of the body with intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desire of the person / a lewd fondling or caress of the body of another person) in a public place.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Element 1 - Indecent act
The first element is that the defendant performed an act involving <insert one or more of the following:>

  • sexual intercourse.  "Sexual intercourse" mean vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, fellatio or cunnilingus between persons regardless of sex. 

  • lewd exposure of the body with intent to arouse or to satisfy (his/her) sexual desire.  "Lewd" means obscene or indecent.  "Expose" means to lay open, to display, or to reveal.  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>

  • a lewd fondling or caressing of the body of another person.  "Lewdly" means obscenely or indecently.  "Caress" means to touch or stroke.

Element 2 - In a public place
The second element you must find beyond a reasonable doubt is that the act occurred in a public place.  "Public place" means any place where the conduct may reasonably be expected to be viewed by others.1

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant performed an indecent act, specifically <insert alleged act>, and 2) did so in a public place.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of public indecency, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.
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1 State v. Cutro, 37 Conn. App. 534, 543 (1995) (defendant standing in front of the window in his apartment was "in a public place" for purposes of this statute because he was easily viewed by others); State v. Vega, 38 Conn. Sup. 313, 315 (App. Sess. 1982) (same).

Commentary

Conviction of both public indecency and breach of the peace is not inconsistent because each one requires a different mental state.  State v. Morascini, 62 Conn. App. 758, 763, cert. denied, 256 Conn. 921 (2001).
 


 

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