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Criminal Jury Instructions

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6.7-6  Harassment in the Second Degree (Written Communication) -- § 53a-183 (a) (2)

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count __] with harassment in the second degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of harassment in the second degree when with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person, (he/she) communicates with a person by (telegraph / mail / electronically transmitting a facsimile through connection with a telephone network / computer network / any other form of written communication) in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm.

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 intended to harass, annoy or alarm another person.  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.>

"Harass" means to trouble, worry or torment.  "Annoy" means to irritate, vex, bother, as by repeated action.  "Alarm" means to make suddenly afraid, anxious, or frightened. 

Element 2 - Written communication
The second element is that the defendant sent a written communication to <insert name of person> in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm.  Written communications include telegrams, letters, faxes, and email.1  <Describe specific allegations.>

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant intended to harass, annoy or alarm <insert name of person>, and 2) by means of <insert type of written communication> (he/she) communicated with <insert name of person> in a manner that was likely to cause annoyance or alarm.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of harassment 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 guilty.
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1 "Computer network" means (A) a set of related devices connected to a computer by communications facilities, or (B) a complex of two or more computers, including related devices, connected by communications facilities."  General Statutes § 53a-250 (3).  Electronic communication can encompass many forms of communication, such as email or instant messaging.


 

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