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Guilty Pleas – Required Knowledge — Elements — 2nd-Degree Sexual Assault (by Contact), § 948.02(2) — “Knowing Contact” Insufficient

State v. John A. Jipson, 2003 WI App 222
For Jipson: Martha K. Askins, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue/Holding: On a charge of 2nd-degree sexual assault, § 948.02(2), the guilty plea court must ascertain the defendant’s knowledge of the element of intent, namely that the defendant had sexual contact for the purpose of sexual degradation, humiliation, arousal, or gratification. It is insufficient to advise the defendant merely that “knowing contact” was necessary, the failure to inform that intent to commit the act with a specifically proscribed purpose being tantamount to “a total failure to inform … of an essential element.” And, because the State failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence at the postconviction hearing that Jipson was aware of the nature of this element, plea–withdrawal is required. ¶¶10-17;  State v. Trochinski, 2002 WI 56, ¶16, 253 Wis. 2d 38, 644 N.W.2d 891 (circuit court need not ensure that defendant know how the State must prove each element) distinguished.

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