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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

6.10-3  Intimidation Based on Bigotry or Bias in the Third Degree -- 53a-181l

Revised to May 10, 2012

The defendant is charged [in count __] with intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the third degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the third degree when such person, with specific intent to intimidate or harass (another person / group of persons) because of the actual or perceived (race / religion / ethnicity / disability / sexual orientation / gender identity or expression) of such other person or persons <insert appropriate subsection:>

  • 53a-181l (a) (1):  damages, destroys or defaces any real or personal property.

  • 53a-181l (a) (2):  threatens, by word or act, to damage, destroy or deface any real or personal property or advocates or urges another person to do so, if there is reasonable cause to believe that the property damage will occur.

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 intimidate or harass (another person / a group of persons) because of that (person's / group's) actual or perceived (race / religion / ethnicity / disability / sexual orientation / gender identity or expression).  The state must prove not only that the defendant had the specific intent to intimidate or harass <identify complainant(s)> but that (he/she) did so because of (his/her/their) actual or perceived (race / religion / ethnicity / disability / sexual orientation / gender identity or expression). 

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.>

The state need not prove that <identify complainant(s)> (was/were) actually of a certain (race / religion / ethnicity / disability / sexual orientation / gender identity or expression).  It is sufficient for the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant perceived <identify complainant(s)> to be of a certain (race / religion / ethnicity / disability / sexual orientation / gender identity or expression). 

[<Insert appropriate definition(s):>

  • "Disability" means (physical disability / mental disability / intellectual disability).

    • "Physical disability" means any chronic physical handicap, infirmity or impairment, whether congenital or resulting from bodily injury, organic processes or changes or from illness, including, but not limited to, blindness, epilepsy, deafness or hearing impairment or reliance on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device.

    • "Mental disability" means one or more mental disorders, as defined in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

    • "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 a person or persons formally trained in test administration; "significantly subaverage" means an intelligence quotient more than two standard deviations below the mean for the 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; and "developmental period" means the period of time between birth and the eighteenth birthday.

  • "Sexual orientation" means having a preference for heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality, having a history of such preference or being identified with such preference.2

  • "Gender identity or expression" means a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's assigned sex at birth.

Element 2 - Damage to property
The second element is that the defendant <insert as appropriate:>

         53a-181l (a) (1):  damaged, destroyed or defaced any real or personal property.  "Real property" means real estate or land. 

         53a-181l (a) (2):  threatened, by word or act, to damage, destroy or deface any real or personal property, if there is reasonable cause to believe that such property damage will occur. The property damage does not have to have occurred.  It is only necessary that there was reasonable cause to believe that it would occur.  "Reasonable cause" means whether an ordinary person in the same circumstances would believe that it would occur.

         53a-181l (a) (2):  advocated or urged another person to damage, destroy or deface any real or personal property, if there is reasonable cause to believe that such property damage will occur.  The property damage does not have to have occurred.  It is only necessary that there was reasonable cause to believe that it would occur.  "Reasonable cause" means whether an ordinary person in the same circumstances would believe that it would occur.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant 1) specifically intended to intimidate or harass another (person / group) because of such (person's / group's) actual or perceived (race / religion / ethnicity / disability / sexual orientation / gender identity or expression), and 2) <insert specific allegations re physical contact or property damage>.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the 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.
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1 Public Acts 2011, No. 11-129, 20, replaced the term "mental retardation" with "intellectual disability," effective October 1, 2011.

2 General Statutes 46a-81a.

Commentary

The threats proscribed by 53a-181k (a) (3) are limited to "true threats."  State v. Skidd, 104 Conn. App. 46, 54 (2007).  See the discussion of true threats in the Introduction to Breach of Peace and Disorderly Conduct.
 


 

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