Chapman v. State
In Chapman v. State, 2001 WY 25, 18 P.3d 1164, P28 (Wyo. 2001), Chapman contended that the jury was not properly instructed on the elements of the offense of indecent liberties with a minor.
Specifically, Chapman argued that the offense of indecent liberties required more than "mere" sexual contact with someone under eighteen and that the jury should have been instructed on this claimed essential element.
In rebuffing Chapman's argument, this court indicated that any claim by Chapman that the jury should have been instructed about the circumstances surrounding "consent" was not well founded because Chapman's thirteen-year-old victim was a minor who was not legally old enough to give informed consent, under 6-2-304, to the almost fifty-year-old Chapman.
Nevertheless, this court recognized that the jury needed to be able to consider the totality of circumstances and use its common sense in reaching its decision on the indecent liberties charges.
The Court stated:
"Second, consistent with Pierson, we find nothing in the district court's instructions that prevented the jury from considering the totality of the circumstances or from using its common sense in reaching its decision on the indecent liberties charges. Chapman has not demonstrated that the jury was improperly instructed on the offense of indecent liberties, and we cannot find counsel ineffective on this ground."