State v. FourtinAnnotate this Case
After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of attempt to commit sexual assault in the second degree and sexual assault in the fourth degree, both of which require proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim, at the time of the offense, was physically helpless. After the state presented its case at trial, and again following the close of evidence Defendant filed a motion for judgment of acquittal, claiming the state had failed to offer sufficient evidence that the victim was physically helpless. The trial court denied the motions. The appellate court reversed after considering the sole issue of whether the jury reasonably could have found that the state introduced sufficient evidence to prove that the victim was unable to communicate her lack of consent to Defendant's sexual advances and concluding that the state had failed to sustain its evidentiary burden. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the state failed to produce any credible evidence that the victim was either unconscious or so uncommunicative that she was physically incapable of manifesting to Defendant her lack of consent to sexual intercourse the time of the alleged sexual assault.