State v. Cavallo

In State v. Cavallo, 200 Conn. 664, 668, 513 A.2d 646 (1986), a police officer allowed a woman to accompany him in his police cruiser where the two would drink alcohol. State v. Cavallo, supra, 200 Conn. 665. After an investigation began, the police officer met with the woman and told her that if investigators questioned her, she should respond that she had never been in his police cruiser and deny any knowledge of his social use of the vehicle. Id. The issue on appeal was not the correct interpretation of "to testify falsely, withhold testimony, elude legal process summoning him to testify or absent himself from any official proceeding," as contained in 53a-151 (a). Rather, the court interpreted the meaning of the phrase in 53a-151 (a), "induces or attempts to induce . . . ." Id., 668. Specifically, the court was asked to determine if intent was required under the statute. In concluding that "induces or attempts to induce" requires intent, the court stated that the "statute applies to any conduct that is intended to prompt a witness to testify falsely or to refrain from testifying in an official proceeding that the perpetrator believes to be pending or imminent." Id. The Court in Cavallo did not intend to rewrite the statute by limiting its applicability to situations in which the defendant induces someone to "testify falsely or to refrain from testifying . . . ." Id. It was addressing only the issue of intent raised on appeal in the context of the facts presented where the defendant asked the witness to testify falsely. Section 53a-151 (a) clearly forbids more than inducing a witness to "testify falsely or to refrain from testifying . . . ." Id.