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§ 940.225(2)(a), Second-Degree Sexual Assault – Sufficiency of Evidence – Force

State v. Michael Scott Long, 2009 WI 36, affirming in part and reversing in part unpublished opinion
For Long: Joseph L. Sommers

Issue: Whether use of force element of second-degree sexual assault was established where the defendant asked the complainant to rate his penis then hugged her so that she could feel his penis through their clothing.

Holding:

¶24      Long’s arguments are not persuasive. Under Wisconsin law, force has been used when the victim is compelled to submit. See State v. Bonds, 165 Wis.  2d 27, 32, 477 N.W.2d 265 (1991) (concluding that the force element of second-degree sexual assault was met when Bonds grabbed a woman’s nipple and squeezed it). In Bonds, the court said, “Force used at the time of contact can compel submission as effectively as force or threat occurring before contact. Regardless of when the force is applied, the victim is forced to submit.” Id.¶25      Here, Bobbie D. testified that Long grabbed her, hugged her tightly and forcibly, and that she was too afraid to cry out. From this testimony, the jury could have determined that Long forcibly held Bobbie D., compelling her to submit so that he could make sexual contact. We conclude that a reasonable jury could have determined beyond a reasonable doubt that the sexual contact was by use or threat of force or violence.

 

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