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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

10.8-2  Tampering with Private Communications -- § 53a-188 (a) (2)

Revised to December 1, 2007

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

a  person is guilty of tampering with private communications when, knowing that (he/she) does not have the consent of the sender or receiver, and being an employee, officer or representative of a telephone or telegraph corporation, (he/she) knowingly divulges to another person the contents or nature of a telephonic or telegraphic communication.

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

Element 1 - Defendant's position
The first element is that the defendant was an employee, officer or representative of a telephone or telegraph corporation.

Element 2 - Divulged contents
The second element is that (he/she) knowingly divulged to another person the contents or nature of a telephonic or telegraphic communication.  A person acts "knowingly" with respect to conduct or circumstances when (he/she) is aware that (his/her) conduct is of such nature or that such circumstances exist.  <See Knowledge, Instruction 2.3-3.>

Element 3 - Without consent
The third element is that the defendant knew that (he/she) did not have the consent of the sender or receiver.  A person does an act "without consent of another person" when (he/she) lacks such other person's agreement or assent to engage in the act. 

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant was an employee, officer or representative of a telephone or telegraph corporation, 2) (he/she) knowingly divulged to another person the contents or nature of a telephonic or telegraphic communication, and 3) (he/she) knew that (he/she) did not have the consent of the sender or receiver.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of tampering with private communications, 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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