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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

7.6-1 Enticing a Minor -- 53a-90a

Revised to December 1, 2007 (modified June 13, 2008)

The defendant is charged [in count __] with using a computer to entice a minor into sexual activity. The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows:

a person is guilty of enticing a minor when such person uses an interactive computer service to knowingly (persuade / induce / entice / coerce) any person under sixteen years of age to engage in (prostitution / sexual activity) for which the actor may be charged with a criminal offense.

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

Element 1 - Enticed a minor into prostitution or sexual activity
The first element is that the defendant knowingly (persuaded / induced / enticed / coerced) another person into engaging in (prostitution / sexual activity). <Insert appropriate definition:>

  • Prostitution is defined as engaging or agreeing or offering to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee.1 "Sexual conduct" means behavior involving sex, the organs of sex and their functions or the instincts and drives associated with sex.2 A "fee" is any form of compensation or payment. 

  • Sexual activity. "Sexual activity" means conduct or behavior involving sex, the organs of sex and their functions or the instincts and drives associated with sex.3

A person acts "knowingly" with respect to conduct or to a circumstance when (he/she) is aware that (his/her) conduct is of such nature or that such circumstance exists. <See Knowledge, Instruction 2.3-3.>

Element 2 - Other person under 16 years of age
The second element is that at the time of the incident, the other person was under the age of sixteen. This means that the person had not yet had (his/her) sixteenth birthday when the conduct is alleged to have taken place.4

Element 3 - Prostitution / Sexual activity
The third element is that the sexual activity which the defendant (persuaded / induced / enticed / coerced) the other person to engage in is one for which the defendant may be charged with a criminal offense. It is not necessary that the defendant actually be charged with such an offense, but simply that the sexual activity in which the defendant intended to engage is proscribed or prohibited by law. <Insert the particular conduct, including prostitution, which the state claims and the evidence supports as the sexual activity in which the defendant intended to have the minor engage, and the criminal charge(s) that it would support.>5

Element 4 - Computer
The fourth element is that the defendant used an interactive computer service to accomplish this activity. As defined by this statute, an "interactive computer service" means any information service, system or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including specifically a service or system that provides access to the Internet and such systems operated or services offered by libraries or educational institutions.6

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant enticed another person to engage in (prostitution / sexual activity), 2) that other person was under 16 years of age, 3) the sexual activity is one for which the defendant could be criminally liable, and 4) the defendant used an interactive computer system.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of the use of a computer to entice a child into sexual activity, 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 See Prostitution, Instruction 7.3-1.

2 See State v. Allen, 37 Conn. Sup. 506, 510-11 (App. Sess. 1980).

3 The statutes concerning prostitution and pornography use both the terms "sexual activity" and "sexual conduct." They do not seem to be readily distinguishable.

4 When an attempt is alleged, the trial court must instruct the jury that the defendant believed that the other person was under 16 years of age. See State v. Sorabella, 277 Conn. 155, 191, cert. denied, 549 U.S. 821, 127 S.Ct. 131, 166 L.Ed.2d 36 (2006) (defendant convicted of attempt to entice a minor when the other person was an undercover police officer, but the defendant believed he was communicating with a 13-year old).

5 The court should inquire of the state what the underlying criminal offense(s) are being claimed if not expressly contained in the information.

6 General Statutes 53a-90a (a).

Commentary

Sentence Enhancers
Effective July 1, 2007, 53a-90a (b) (2) provides an enhanced penalty if the victim is under 13 years of age. The jury must find this fact proved beyond a reasonable doubt. See Sentence Enhancers, Instruction 2.11-4. 

Subsequent Offenders
General Statutes 53a-90a (b) provides for an enhanced sentence if the defendant has previously been convicted of one or more violations of 53a-90a. Pursuant to Practice Book 36-14, the prior conviction must be charged in a Part B information so that the jury is unaware of the prior conviction during the trial on the current charge. If a guilty verdict is returned, the jury must then be instructed on the second part of the information. See Subsequent Offenders, Instruction 2.12-2.
 


 

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