State v. Brown
As explained in the 2012 Appellate Court case of State v. Shah, "an outright declaration of intent is not required in order to sustain the defendant's conviction." Thomas Brown entered an online chat room and engaged a detective posing as a 14 year old girl, "Samantha Miller13," in multiple graphic sexual conversations over several days. They agreed to meet at a shopping plaza and return to the purported teenager's home while her mother was working. Brown was arrested at the meeting location with sex toys he described in online conversations. Brown admitted to police that he had inappropriate conversations with Miller, agreed to meet Miller and would bring the sex toys. Following a court trial, Brown was found guilty of attempt to commit sexual assault in the second degree. He appealed, asserting that the record contained insufficient evidence to support the conclusion that he possessed the intent required for the conviction and took a substantial step in furtherance of committing the crime. Unpersuaded, the Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. Although the defendant pointed to a single statement where he explicitly stated he would not have sex with Miller, this did not foreclose the possibility that he intended to engage in other acts of a sexual nature with Miller. The court reasonably could have inferred from the statement's context that the defendant was referring solely to penile-vaginal intercourse. When previously referring to "sex," the defendant stated he did not like wearing condoms, but would do so to assuage Miller's expressed fears of becoming pregnant. By contrast, he continually and clearly expressed his desire to perform cunnilingus on Miller without reservation or restriction. C.G.S. §53a-65 provides, for the purposes of the offense charged, that "sexual intercourse" includes cunnilingus. Accordingly, the court reasonably could have inferred that the defendant did intend to engage in sexual intercourse with Miller. The record belied the assertion that the defendant's online conversations were mere idle talk. Given the graphic, sexual conversations and the defendant's conduct, including driving with sex toys to the pre-arranged location to spend hours alone with Miller at her residence, the court reasonably could have inferred that the defendant intended to engage in sexual intercourse with Miller and the facts were sufficient to constitute a substantial step.