Sunday, April 9, 2006

Connecticut Appeals Court Rules Stepchild Sexual Assault Statute Unconstitutional

The Connecticut state Appellate Court ruled Wednesday that a statute on sexual assault involving stepchildren is unconstitutional. The decision reversed the third-degree sexual assault conviction of a New Haven man.

The court was faced with an 1875 statute that prohibited sexual intercourse between a stepfather and stepdaughter, however, sexual intercourse between a stepfather and stepson is not covered. The court said that it could “conceive of no rational basis for that distinction. Indeed, it is very wide of any reasonable mark” and concluded that the statute violates the guarantees of equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The court found  Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), and a Kansas Supreme Court opinion, State v. Limon, 280 Kan.275, 122 P.3d 22 (2005), particularly helpful, observing that “like Lawrence, Limon presents a case in which statutory punishment for certain unlawful conduct did not apply equally to the conduct of homosexuals and heterosexuals alike.”  News Source: The Advocate, stamfordadvocate.com. For the full story, please click here (last visited April 9, 2006, reo). The opinion of the Connecticut Court of Appeals can be found here (last visited April 9, 2006, reo)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2006/04/connecticut_app.html

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