In re A.P., JuvenileAnnotate this Case
Juvenile A.P. appealed an adjudication of delinquency based on “open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior” under 13 V.S.A. section 2601. Juvenile argued: (1) the evidence did not support a finding that his conduct was open or gross; (2) section 2601 was ambiguous and therefore unenforceable against him; and (3) section 2601 was unconstitutionally vague. The incident giving rise to the adjudication at issue here dated back to 2018, when Juvenile approached the complainant in the hallway of school. Complainant testified: “[A]ll of a sudden, he asked if he could touch my breasts, and then he just reached out, and his hand was on me.” No one else was present, although school was in session. When juvenile touched complainant’s breast with his hand, she turned around and ran. She was furious and upset. Juvenile testified that he reached out his hand toward complainant’s chest but never touched it. He testified that he regretted disregarding complainant’s feelings and felt his actions were “disgusting.” The family court found complainant to be credible. It concluded that juvenile had touched her breast and in doing so had committed a delinquent act. The Vermont Supreme Court concluded the court’s findings were supported by the record. The Court further concluded the statute unambiguously proscribes the type of conduct at issue here, and accordingly affirmed the judgment.