State v. Mancinone

In State v. Mancinone, 15 Conn. App. 251, 545 A.2d 1131, cert. denied, 209 Conn. 818, 551 A.2d 757 (1988), cert. denied, 489 U.S. 1017 (1989) the defendant was charged with risking injury to two female juveniles by engaging in sexual activity with them "on divers dates between August 1982 and November 1984." The girls were approximately thirteen or fourteen years old at the time of the abuse. The defendant was convicted of these charges. He complained on appeal that the open-ended period of more than two years referred to in the charging document had effectively precluded him from presenting the defenses of alibi and impossibility. The court disagreed, noting that where, as in Mancinone's case, the offense was of a "continuing nature," the prosecution could not readily provide precise dates. The court specifically rejected Mancinone's constitutional contentions: "Generally in such cases, as long as the information provides a time frame which has a distinct beginning and an equally clear end, within which the crimes are alleged to have been committed, it is sufficiently definite to satisfy the requirements of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution...." 545 A.2d at 1136. The court explained that in order to establish a constitutional violation, a defendant who has been convicted on the basis of an imprecise charging document must make "a clear and specific showing of prejudice to the defense," and that he cannot prevail "merely by establishing that the presentation of his defense may be more burdensome and difficult." Id. Finally, the court noted that Mancinone had denied engaging in the unlawful activity "whatever the dates." The court ruled that, under these circumstances, the "burdens and difficulties" posed by the imprecise charging documents were "not of the kind and magnitude to warrant reversal of Mancinone's conviction." Id. In State v. Mancinone, the defendant was convicted under 53-21 for providing alcohol and marijuana to children, which created a situation risking injury to their health and morals. "Giving teenage girls liquor and marihuana are not conceptually distinct actions. They both involve furnishing the underage victims with illegal and mind- altering substances which are harmful to their physical health and induce them to lose their self-control." Id. at 277. In Mancinone, the defendant provided marijuana to thirteen and fourteen year old girls to smoke on several occasions. The court determined that the smoking of marijuana was harmful to the girls' health.