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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

6.1-16  Assault of an Elderly, Blind, Disabled, Pregnant or Intellectually Disabled Person -- § 53a-59a, § 53a-60b, § 53a-60c, and § 53a-61a

Revised to May 10, 2012

Note:  These offenses are based on underlying assault crimes against a certain class of victim.  The degree of the offense depends on the degree of the underlying crime.

The defendant is charged [in count __] with assault of (a/an) (elderly / blind / disabled / pregnant / intellectually disabled1) person [with a firearm] in the (first / second / third) degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of assault of (a/an) (elderly / blind / disabled / pregnant / intellectually disabled) person [with a firearm] in the (first / second / third) degree when such person commits assault [with a firearm] in the (first / second / third) degree and the person assaulted <insert as appropriate:>

  • is at least sixty years of age.

  • is blind.

  • is physically disabled.

  • is pregnant.

  • is intellectually disabled, and the actor is not a person with intellectually disability.

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

Element 1 - Committed assault
The first element is that the defendant committed assault [with a firearm] in the (first / second / third) degree.  <Insert elements from instruction for the underlying crime:>

Element 2 - Status of complainant
The second element is that the person assaulted was, at the time, <insert as appropriate:>

  • at least sixty years of age. The defendant did not have to know that the person was over sixty years of age.

  • blind.  For purposes of this offense, a person is "blind" if (his/her) central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses, or if (his/her) visual acuity is greater than 20/200 but is accompanied by a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than twenty degrees.2  <Insert any medical evidence.> In addition, the defendant did not have to know that the person was blind.

  • physically disabled.  For purposes of this offense, a person is "physically disabled" if (he/she) has any chronic physical handicap, infirmity or impairment, whether congenital or resulting from bodily injury, organic process or changes or from illness, including, but not limited to, epilepsy, deafness or hearing impairment or reliance on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device.  Thus, it does not matter whether the person was born with the chronic physical handicap, infirmity or impairment, or if it resulted from bodily injury, organic processes or changes or illness.3 In addition, the defendant did not have to know that the person was physically disabled.

  • pregnant.

  • intellectually disabled, and the person committing the assault was not a person with intellectual disability.  For purposes of this offense, "intellectual disability" means a significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period.  "General intellectual functioning" means the results obtained by assessment with one or more of the individually administered general intelligence tests developed for that purpose and standardized on a significantly adequate population and administered by persons formally trained in test administration.  "Significantly subaverage" means an intelligence quotient more than two standard deviations below the mean test.  "Adaptive behavior" means the effectiveness or degree with which an individual meets the standards of personal independence and social responsibility expected for the individual's age and cultural group.  "Developmental period" means the period of time between birth and the eighteenth birthday.4  <Insert any evidence of general intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior.>

[Affirmative defense

<Include if raised by the defendant:>

The defendant has raised the affirmative defense that (he/she), at the time of the incident, did not know that <insert name of complainant> was (pregnant / intellectually disabled).

<See Affirmative Defense, Instruction 2.9-1.>] 

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that <insert the concluding summary from the instruction for the underlying crime>, and that at the time of the assault, <insert name of complainant> was (at least sixty years of age / blind / physically disabled / pregnant / intellectually disabled).

<Insert one of the following endings:>

If the defendant has not raised the affirmative defense
If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of assault of (a/an) (elderly / blind / physically disabled / pregnant / intellectually disabled) person [with a firearm] in the (first / second / third) 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.

If the defendant has raised the affirmative defense
If you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements of the crime of assault of (a pregnant / an intellectually disabled) person [with a firearm] in the (first / second / third) degree, you shall then find the defendant not guilty and not consider (his/her) affirmative defense.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements, then you shall consider the defendant's affirmative defense.  If you unanimously find that the defendant has proved by a preponderance of the evidence that (he/she) did not know that <insert name of complainant> was (pregnant / intellectually disabled), then you shall find the defendant not guilty.  If you unanimously find that the defendant has not proved (his/her) defense by a preponderance of the evidence, then you shall find the defendant guilty.
_______________________________________________________

1 Public Acts 2011, No. 11-129, § 1, replaced the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability,” effective October 1, 2011.

2 General Statutes § 1-1f (a).

3 General Statutes § 1-1f (b).

4 General Statutes § 1-1g.

Commentary

See generally State v. Campbell, 180 Conn. 557, 562-64 (1980) (discussing the legislature's rationale for making assault on the elderly a distinct offense).
 


 

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