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Contributing to Delinquency of Child, § 948.40(4)(a) – Element of “Child”: Includes 17-Year-Olds

State v. Patrick R. Patterson, 2009 WI App 161
For Patterson: David R. Karpe


¶29      We will assume, for purposes of Patterson’s argument, that the definition of “juvenile” in Wis. Stat. § 938.02 applies for purposes of defining “delinquency” in Wis. Stat. § 948.40. Nonetheless, Patterson’s statutory analysis ignores the fact that a seventeen-year-old is only excepted from the definition of “juvenile” for a single purpose, the “purpose[] of investigating or prosecuting” the “person who is less than 18 years of age.”See § 938.02(10m). Here, the question is not whether Tanya S. is a “juvenile” for purposes of prosecuting her, but instead for purposes of prosecuting Patterson. Thus, Tanya S. was a “juvenile” for purposes of Patterson’s prosecution for contributing to the delinquency of a child with death as a consequence. [12]


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