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Criminal Jury Instructions

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9.1-11  Larceny by Extortion -- § 53a-119 (5) and § 53a-122 (a) (1)

Revised to December 1, 2007

Note:  Larceny by extortion is defined as first degree larceny in § 53a-122 (a) (1) regardless of the nature or value of the property. 

The defendant is charged [in count __] with larceny by extortion in the first degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person obtains property by extortion when (he/she) compels or induces another person to deliver such property to (himself/herself) or a third person by means of instilling in (him/her) a fear that, if the property is not so delivered, the actor or another will <insert appropriate subsection:>

  • § 53a-119 (5) (A):  cause physical injury to some person in the future.

  • § 53a-119 (5) (B):  cause damage to property.

  • § 53a-119 (5) (C):  engage in other conduct constituting a crime.

  • § 53a-119 (5) (D):  accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be instituted against (him/her).

  • § 53a-119 (5) (E):  expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule.

  • § 53a-119 (5) (F):  cause a strike, boycott or other collective labor group action injurious to some person's business.1

  • § 53a-119 (5) (G):  testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another's legal claim or defense.

  • § 53a-119 (5) (H):  use or abuse (his/her) position as a public servant by performing some act within or related to (his/her) official duties, or by failing or refusing to perform an official duty, in such manner as to affect some person adversely.

  • § 53a-119 (5) (I):  inflict any harm that would not benefit the defendant.

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

Element 1 - Obtained property of another
The first element is that the defendant obtained the property of another.

"Obtaining" property includes, but is not limited to, bringing about the transfer of a legal interest in the property from the owner to the defendant or to a third person.  If the legal title or ownership of the property or some legal interest in the property is transferred, such a transfer would constitute "obtaining" under the statute.  The property does not need to be physically obtained.  If the owner delivered the property intending to transfer legal ownership or some legal interest in the property, sufficient transfer would have occurred.

"Property" includes any (money / personal property / real property / thing in action / evidence of debt or contract / article of value of any kind).  [Commodities of a public utility, such as gas, electricity, steam and water also constitute property.]

"Owner" means not only the true or lawful owner, but any person who has a superior right to that of the defendant.  

Element 2 - By extortion
The second element is that the defendant compelled or induced the person to deliver the property or service by instilling fear.  Extortion means that the defendant instilled in <insert name of person> a fear that if the property was not turned over, the defendant or another person would <insert as appropriate:>

  • § 53a-119 (5) (A):  cause physical injury to some person in the future.  "Physical injury" means impairment of physical condition or pain.  It is a reduced ability to act as one would otherwise have acted.  The law does not require that the injury be serious.  It may be minor.

  • § 53a-119 (5) (B):  cause damage to property.

  • § 53a-119 (5) (C):  engage in other conduct constituting a crime.

  • § 53a-119 (5) (D):  accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be instituted against (him/her).

  • § 53a-119 (5) (E):  expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule.

  • § 53a-119 (5) (F):  cause a strike, boycott or other collective labor group action injurious to some person's business.

  • § 53a-119 (5) (G):  testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another's legal claim or defense.

  • § 53a-119 (5) (H):  use or abuse (his/her) position as a public servant by performing some act within or related to (his/her) official duties, or by failing or refusing to perform an official duty, in such manner as to affect some person adversely.

  • § 53a-119 (5) (I):  inflict any harm that would not benefit the defendant.

The state alleges that the defendant <describe the alleged acts of extortion.>  The state must prove that the threat or the act of extortion compelled or induced the person to turn over the property.

Element 3 - Larcenous Intent
The third element is that at the time the defendant obtained the property, (he/she) intended to <insert as appropriate:>

  • deprive the owner of (his/her) property. 

  • appropriate the property to (himself / herself) or a third person. 

<See Larceny, Instruction 9.1-1, for a full explanation of this element.>

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant 1) obtained property from <insert name of person>, 2) (he/she) did so by <describe alleged acts of extortion>, and 3) (he/she) intended to (permanently deprive the owner of (his/her) property / permanently appropriate the property to (himself / herself) or a third person).

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of larceny in the first degree by extortion, 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 This subsection includes the following exception:  "except that such a threat shall not be deemed extortion when the property is demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act."
 


 

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