Case Caption: Lennox M. LeBlanc v. People of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: S. Ct. Crim. No. 2011-0027Date: 04/04/2012Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

In a prosecution for child abuse under 14 V.I.C. § 505 and unlawful sexual contact in the second degree pursuant § 14 V.I.C. § 1709, in which it was charged that the defendant touched the genital area of a minor through her clothing, the charging phrase of § 505 under which the defendant was prosecuted for child abuse, using the term "sexual conduct," is not defined and is not sufficiently precise to give a person of ordinary intelligence fair notice as to what is permitted and what is prohibited, and to prevent arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement. As a result, the portion of § 505 under which the defendant was charged is unconstitutionally vague, and the defendant's conviction on that charge violated Due Process. On the charge of unlawful sexual contact, the trial court did not err in admitting certain statements admitted into evidence. Some of the statements were party admissions by the defendant, admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence Rule 801(d)(2)(A), and the other statements were not offered for their truth but to put the defendant's response in context and to help make what he said intelligible to the trier of fact. Thus the statements received into evidence did not constitute hearsay and it was not error to admit them. Accordingly, the conviction under § 14 V.I.C. § 1709 for unlawful sexual contact in the second degree is affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion