6.7-2 Stalking in the Second Degree -- § 53a-181d
Revised to June 12, 2009
The defendant is charged [in count __] with stalking in the second degree. The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows:
a person is guilty of stalking in the second degree when, with intent to cause another person to fear for (his/her) physical safety, (he/she) wilfully and repeatedly follows or lies in wait for such other person and causes such other person to reasonably fear for (his/her) physical safety.
For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
Element 1 - Intent
The first element is that the defendant specifically intended to cause <insert name of person> to fear for (his/her) physical safety. "Fear for (his/her) physical safety" means that (he/she) feared that bodily harm could come to (him/her). 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 2 - Followed or lay in
The second element is that the defendant (followed / lay in wait for) <insert name of person>. <Insert as appropriate:>
● The following must have a predatory feel to it. The statute does not encompass following that is aimless, unintentional, accidental or undertaken for a lawful purpose. Following implies proximity in space as well as time. Whether someone has deliberately maintained sufficient visual or physical proximity with another person, uninterrupted, over a substantial enough period of time to constitute "following" will depend upon a variety of differing factors in each case.1
● In the context of stalking, “laying in wait” means waiting in a place where another person is likely to be or to pass by.2
Element 3 - Wilfullness
The third element is that the defendant acted wilfully. To act "wilfully" means to act intentionally or deliberately.
Element 4 - Repeatedly
The fourth element is that the defendant acted repeatedly. Acting "repeatedly" means acting on more than one occasion. An isolated act of following or lying in wait cannot constitute stalking.3
Element 5 - Caused fear
The fifth element is that the defendant caused <insert name of person> to reasonably fear for (his/her) physical safety. Determining whether this element is satisfied requires a two step process. First, the situation and the facts must be viewed from the viewpoint of <insert name of person>. Did (he/she) in fact fear for (his/her) physical safety? If the answer to that question is no, you must find the defendant not guilty. If the answer to that question is yes, you must then ask whether that fear was reasonable. You must answer that question from the viewpoint of a reasonable person under the circumstances at the time. You must ask yourself whether under all the circumstances then present, was the fear reasonable?4
In summary, the state must prove prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant intended to cause <insert name of person> to fear for (his/her) safety, 2) the defendant followed or lay in wait for <insert name of person>, 3) the defendant acted wilfully, 4) the defendant acted repeatedly, and 5) the defendant caused <insert name of person> to reasonably fear for (his/her) physical safety.
If you unanimously find that the state
has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of
stalking in the second 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
1 State v. Marsala, 44 Conn. App. 84, 98, cert. denied, 240 Conn. 912 (1997); see also State v. Jackson, 56 Conn. App. 264, 272, cert. denied, 242 Conn. 938 (2000).
2 For a discussion of the traditional legal definition of “lying in wait,” see State v. Culmo, 43 Conn. Sup. 46, 63-64 (1993). The committee thought that this definition, with its emphasis on concealment and surprise, was not applicable to the behavior that the stalking statute addresses.
3 State v. Jackson, 56 Conn. App. 264, 273, cert. denied, 242 Conn. 938 (2000); State v. Cummings, 46 Conn. App. 661, 679 n.13, cert. denied, 243 Conn. 940 (1997); see also State v. Russell, 101 Conn. App. 298, 317-18, cert. denied, 284 Conn. 910 (2007) (there is no time limitation on the time that may have elapsed between the acts).
State v. Cummings, supra, 46 Conn. App. 678 n.12.