State v. Merdinger

In State v. Merdinger, 37 Conn. App. 379, 655 A.2d 1167, cert. denied, 233 Conn. 914, 659 A.2d 187 (1995), the defendant argued that 31-71b is unconstitutional because it does not prescribe a requisite mens rea. The defendant argued that the statute passes constitutional muster only if it is read as requiring that the state prove an intent to do the prohibited act (nonpayment of wages). State v. Merdinger, supra, 382. The Court concluded in Merdinger that "this public welfare offense properly does not require a mens rea and imposes strict criminal liability." Id., 386. The Court further held that the defendant had failed to show by proof beyond a reasonable doubt that 31-71b is unconstitutional. Id., 387.