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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

7.1-11 Sexual Assault in the Fourth Degree -- 53a-73a (a) (1)

Revised to November 1, 2008

Note: This instruction is for crimes committed on or after October 1, 2007. For the instruction for crimes committed before that date, see Instruction 7.1-11A in the Archive.

The defendant is charged [in count __] with sexual assault in the fourth degree. The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows:

a person is guilty of sexual assault in the fourth degree when such person intentionally subjects another person to sexual contact and <insert appropriate subsection:>

  • 53a-73a (a) (1) (A): such other person is under thirteen years of age and the defendant is more than two years older.
  • 53a-73a (a) (1) (B): such other person is thirteen years of age or older but under fifteen years of age and the actor is more than three years older than such other person.
  • 53a-73a (a) (1) (C): such other person is mentally defective or mentally incapacitated to the extent that such person is unable to consent to such sexual contact.
  • 53a-73a (a) (1) (D): such other person is physically helpless.
  • 53a-73a (a) (1) (E): such other person is less than eighteen years old and the actor is such person's guardian or otherwise responsible for the general supervision of such person's welfare.
  • 53a-73a (a) (1) (F): such other person is in custody of law or detained in a hospital or other institution and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary authority over such person.

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

Element 1 - Sexual contact
The first element is that the defendant intentionally subjected the complainant to sexual contact. "Sexual contact" means any contact by the defendant with the intimate parts of the complainant or contact of the intimate parts of the defendant with the complainant.  "Intimate parts" means the genital area or any substance emitted therefrom, groin, anus or any substance emitted therefrom, inner thighs, buttocks or breasts.  To constitute sexual contact there must be an actual touching.  There need not be, however, direct contact with the unclothed body of the other person or the defendant.  It is enough if the touching of the genital area, groin, anus, inner thighs, buttocks or breast was through the other person's clothing or the defendant's clothing.

Element 2 - Intent
The second element is that the defendant had the specific intent to (obtain sexual gratification / degrade or humiliate the complainant).1  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.>

Element 3 - Additional factor
The third element is that, at the time of the offense, <insert as appropriate and tailor to the facts of the case:>

  • 53a-73a (a) (1) (A): the complainant was under thirteen years of age and the defendant was more than two years older.
  • 53a-73a (a) (1) (B): the complainant was thirteen years of age or older but under fifteen years of age and the defendant was more than three years older.
  • 53a-73a (a) (1) (C): the complainant was mentally defective or mentally incapacitated to the extent that (he/she) was unable to consent to such sexual contact. "Mentally defective" means that a person suffers from a mental disease or defect that renders such person incapable of appraising the nature of such person's conduct. The person's condition must not have been a temporary condition, but a standing disease or defect of mind. It is sufficient if the condition made (him/her) unable to understand the defendant's conduct. "Mentally incapacitated" means that a person is rendered temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling such person's conduct owing to the influence of a drug or intoxicating substance administered to such person without such person's consent, or owing to any other act committed upon such person without such person's consent.
  • 53a-73a (a) (1) (D): the complainant was physically helpless. "Physically helpless" means that a person is unconscious or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act. That is, the complainant was unable by reason of (his/her) physical condition to do anything and was, therefore, incapable of consenting. The helplessness referred to is separate and apart from any mental condition.
  • 53a-73a (a) (1) (E): the complainant was less than eighteen years old at the time this offense was committed, and the defendant was (the complainant's guardian / responsible for the general supervision of the complainant's welfare).
  • 53a-73a (a) (1) (F): the complainant was in custody of law or detained in a hospital or other institution and the defendant had supervisory or disciplinary authority over (him/her).

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant intentionally subjected the complainant to sexual contact, 2) (he/she) specifically intended to (obtain sexual gratification / degrade or humiliate the complainant), and 3) <insert additional factor>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of sexual assault in the fourth degree, 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 The intent element of this offense is derived from the definition of sexual contact in General Statutes 53a-65 (3).  See State v. Faria, 254 Conn. 613, 636 n.24 (2000).

Commentary

Sentence Enhancer
Section 53a-73a (b) provides an enhanced penalty if the victim is under 16 years of age. The jury must find this fact proved beyond a reasonable doubt. See Sentence Enhancers, Instruction 2.11-4.
 


 

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