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Child Enticement, § 948.07: “Secluded Place”

State v. Mitchell D. Pask, 2010 WI App 53; for Pask: Jefren E. Olsen, SPD, Madison Appellate; Resp. Br.; Reply Br.

¶1 … (W)hen there is evidence that a defendant has an intention to take a child to a place that is partially screened or hidden from view, a jury may find that it is with the purpose to take the child away from public safety. Indeed, any place that removes the child from the public’s protection to a place less likely to be detected by the public would suffice as being a “secluded place.” …

State v. Koenck, 2001 WI App 93 explicated, in that child need not be “completely removed” from view, ¶¶14-15.

¶16      From this definition we conclude that a screened or hidden place (partially or completely) would qualify as a “secluded place.” And a place need not even be screened or hidden or remote if some other aspect of the place lowers the likelihood of detection. All the statute requires is that the place provides a means by which to exclude the child and reduce the risk of detection. …

The evidence is held sufficient, notwithstanding that Pask took the child to an “open-sided” park shelter:

¶20      In this case, two girls testified that Pask offered Alexxus candy to lure her to another area of the park by the park shelter. The jury saw pictures of the park shelter area where Pask wanted to take her. And while, looking at the pictures, anyone could see that the park shelter is open-sided and is primarily not hidden from onlookers. The same pictures show that the view is partially screened or hidden in places. These pictures also show that the shelter itself was partially blocked by landscaping, a sign, and support pillars, any one of which the jury could infer was sufficient to hide a nine-year-old girl behind for a period of sexual contact. The jury also saw that the topography of the area surrounding the shelter could have provided other places to hide the girl. Therefore, the jury had all the evidence it needed to find that the shelter area was “hidden or screened from view or remote from others.” We affirm.

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