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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

7.1-12 Sexual Assault in the Fourth Degree -- 53a-73a (a) (2) through (a) (9)

Revised to May 10, 2012

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 <insert appropriate subsection:>

  • 53a-73a (a) (2): subjects another person to sexual contact without such other person's consent.
  • 53a-73a (a) (3): engages in sexual contact with an animal or dead body.
  • 53a-73a (a) (4): subjects another person to sexual contact and the actor is a psychotherapist and such other person is (a patient of the actor and the sexual contact occurs during the psychotherapy session / a patient or former patient of the actor and such patient or former patient is emotionally dependent upon the actor / a patient or former patient of the actor and the sexual contact occurs by means of therapeutic deception).
  • 53a-73a (a) (5): subjects another person to sexual contact and the actor accomplishes the sexual contact by means of false representation that the sexual contact is for a bona fide medical purpose by a health care professional.
  • 53a-73a (a) (6): subjects another person to sexual contact and the actor is a school employee and such other person is a student enrolled in a school in which the actor works or a school under the jurisdiction of the local or regional board of education which employs the actor.
  • 53a-73a (a) (7): subjects another person to sexual contact and the actor is a coach in an athletic activity or a person who provides intensive, ongoing instruction and such other person is a recipient of coaching or instruction from the actor and (is a secondary school student and receives such coaching or instruction in a secondary school setting / is under eighteen years of age).
  • 53a-73a (a) (8): subjects another person to sexual contact and the actor is twenty years of age or older and stands in a position of power, authority or supervision over such other person by virtue of the actor's professional, legal, occupational or volunteer status and such other person's participation in a program or activity, and such other person is under eighteen years of age.
  • 53a-73a (a) (9): such person subjects another person to sexual contact and such other person is placed or receiving services under the direction of the Commissioner of Developmental Services in any public or private facility or program and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary authority over such other person.1

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 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 for the purpose of the defendant's sexual gratification or for the purpose of degrading or humiliating 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).2  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) (2): the complainant did not consent to the sexual contact.
  • 53a-73a (a) (3): the sexual contact was with an animal or dead body.
  • 53a-73a (a) (4): the defendant was a psychotherapist and the complainant was <insert as appropriate:>
  • a patient of the defendant and the sexual contact occurred during the psychotherapy session.
  • a patient or former patient of the defendant and (he/she) was emotionally dependent upon the defendant.
  • a patient or former patient of the defendant and the sexual contact occurred by means of therapeutic deception.
<Include appropriate definitions:>
  • "Psychotherapist" means a physician, psychologist, nurse, substance abuse counselor, social worker, clergyman, marital and family therapist, mental health service provider, hypnotist or other person, whether or not licensed or certified by the state, who performs or purports to perform psychotherapy.
  • "Psychotherapy" means the professional treatment, assessment or counseling of a mental or emotional illness, symptom or condition.
  • "Emotionally dependent" means that the nature of the patient's or former patient's emotional condition and the nature of the treatment provided by the psychotherapist are such that the psychotherapist knows or has reason to know that the patient or former patient is unable to withhold consent to sexual contact by the psychotherapist.
  • "Therapeutic deception" means a representation by a psychotherapist that sexual contact by the psychotherapist is consistent with or part of the patient's treatment.
  • 53a-73a (a) (5): the defendant accomplished the sexual contact by means of a false representation that the sexual contact was for a bona fide medical purpose by a health care professional.
  • 53a-73a (a) (6): the defendant was a school employee and the complainant was a student enrolled in a school in which the defendant worked or a school under the jurisdiction of the local or regional board of education which employed the defendant. "School employee" means either a teacher, substitute teacher, school administrator, school superintendent, guidance counselor, psychologist, social worker, nurse, physician, school paraprofessional or coach employed by a local or regional board of education or a private elementary, middle or high school or working in a public or private elementary, middle or  high school; or any other person who, in the performance of his or her duties, has regular contact with students and who provides services to or on behalf of students enrolled in a public elementary, middle or high school, pursuant to a contract with the local or regional board of education or in a private elementary, middle or high school pursuant to a contract with the supervisory agent of the private school.
  • 53a-73a (a) (7): the defendant (was a coach in an athletic activity / provided intensive, ongoing instruction) and the complainant was a recipient of the (coaching / instruction) from the defendant, and the complainant was (a secondary school student and received the (coaching / instruction) in a secondary school setting / under eighteen years of age).
  • 53a-73a (a) (8): the defendant was twenty years of age or older and stood in a position of power, authority or supervision over the complainant by virtue of the defendant's professional, legal, occupational or volunteer status and the complainant's participation in a program or activity, and the complainant was under eighteen years of age.
  • 53a-73a (a) (9): such person subjects another person to sexual contact and such other person is placed or receiving services under the direction of the Commissioner of Developmental Services in any public or private facility or program and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary authority over such other person.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant 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.
_______________________________________________________

1 This alternative was added by Public Acts 2011, No. 11-113, 2, effective October 1, 2011.

2 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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