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Oregon Supreme Court, August 28, 2020

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by: Rankin Johnson • August 28, 2020 • no comments


Summarized by Rankin Johnson, OCDLA

STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION - Conduct or circumstance elements

In order to be convicted of sexual abuse in the second degree, defendant must act knowingly with respect to the victim's lack of consent. Reversed.

Relying on ordinary statutory construction, the court explained that the victim's lack of consent was a conduct element requiring a knowing mental state, rather than a circumstance element permitting a less culpable mental state. Although the court discussed legislative history at length, it found that the history was contradictory and unilluminating.

State v. Haltom 366 Or 791 (August 28, 2020) (Nelson) (Yamihll County, Wiles)