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Using Computer to Facilitate Child Sex-Crime, § 948.075(3) – Elements – Sufficiency of Evidence

State v. Dennis Charles Schulpius, 2006 WI App 263
For Schulpius: Bridget Boyle

Issue/Holding:

¶10      … The subsection has two elements:  (1) the defendant must have done something that shows that he or she had, as phrased by § 948.075(1), the “intent to have sexual contact or sexual intercourse” with someone whom he or she believed, or had reason to believe, was younger than sixteen, and (2) that act must be something “other than use a computerized communication system to communicate with” that person. …

Evidence held sufficient to support conviction:

¶13      In finding that the State had satisfied its burden under Wis. Stat. § 948.075(3), the trial court assessed Schulpius’s “on information and belief” affidavit that he was in “Meghan”’s neighborhood for an innocent purpose that had nothing to do with his communications with her.  But the trial court also properly looked at the communications themselves, where Schulpius, as we have seen, told “Meghan” that he drove through her neighborhood for the specific purpose of meeting her.  This and Schulpius’s confession to the police that he went to the area so he could, as phrased by the police report (a phrasing that Schulpius does not contest), “get her interested in chatting with him again,” shows that the non-computer-assisted act of driving through the area was “to effect” his “intent” to have sex with the girl he knew as “Meghan,” and thus satisfied the requirement in § 948.075(3).  Further, although not mentioned by the trial court in its oral decision finding Schulpius guilty, a fair and reasonable inference from the Record is that Schulpius purchased the condoms to use, as he told “Meghan” during one of their internet conversations, in case she wanted to have sex with him.  See Owen, 202 Wis. 2d at 634, 551 N.W.2d at 56 (appellate court must “search the record to support the conclusion reached by the fact finder”).  The purchase of the condoms, too, satisfies the “other act” requirement of § 948.075(3).  Thus, Schulpius’s contention on appeal that “there was absolutely no proof to show that he did an act in furtherance to carry out the sexual conduct” with “Meghan” borders on the frivolous.  We affirm.

 

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