The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

by Booth, George


SC20230 - State v. Michael T. (Sexual assault; Prosecutorial impropriety; Whether prosecutor committed improprieties in questioning of victim by assuming facts not in evidence and during closing and rebuttal arguments by referring to facts not in evidence, vouching for victim's credibility, and appealing to jurors' emotions; Whether trial court properly instructed jury on defendant's decision not to testify per general statutes § 54-84 (b); "A jury found the defendant, Michael T., guilty of three counts of first degree sexual assault in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1) and three counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). The trial court rendered judgment in accordance with the verdict and sentenced the defendant to a total effective sentence of sixty years imprisonment. The defendant appeals directly to this court pursuant to General Statutes § 51-199 (b) (3), claiming that the prosecutor engaged in prosecutorial impropriety, thereby depriving him of his constitutional due process right to a fair trial, by (1) assuming facts not in evidence while questioning the victim, and (2) during closing argument, assuming facts not in evidence, vouching for the victim's credibility and appealing to the jurors' emotions. The defendant further claims that the trial court violated General Statutes § 54-84 (b) and infringed on his constitutional right to remain silent when it denied his request to instruct the jury that he elected not to testify and, instead, referred to his failure to testify. We affirm the judgment of conviction.")