CHAPTER 939
OFFENSES AGAINST THE PERSON

Table of Contents

Sec. 53-20. Cruelty to persons.
Sec. 53-21. Injury or risk of injury to, or impairing morals of, children. Sale of children.

      Sec. 53-20. Cruelty to persons. (a)(1) Any person who intentionally tortures, torments or cruelly or unlawfully punishes another person or intentionally deprives another person of necessary food, clothing, shelter or proper physical care shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both.

      (2) Any person who, with criminal negligence, deprives another person of necessary food, clothing, shelter or proper physical care shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both.

      (b) (1) Any person who, having the control and custody of any child under the age of nineteen years, in any capacity whatsoever, intentionally maltreats, tortures, overworks or cruelly or unlawfully punishes such child or intentionally deprives such child of necessary food, clothing or shelter shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both.

      (2) Any person who, having the control and custody of any child under the age of nineteen years, in any capacity whatsoever, with criminal negligence, deprives such child of necessary food, clothing or shelter shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8368; P.A. 05-72, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 05-72 designated existing provisions re cruelty to any person as Subsec. (a)(1) and amended said Subsec. to add "intentionally" as the mens rea for the offense of torturing, tormenting or cruelly or unlawfully punishing another person, replace "wilfully" with "intentionally" as the mens rea for the offense of depriving another person of necessary food, clothing, shelter or proper physical care, and increase the penalty for such intentional acts to a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or imprisonment of not more than five years or both, reenacted existing provisions re negligently depriving another person of necessary food, clothing, shelter or proper physical care and the penalty therefor as Subsec. (a)(2) and amended those provisions by replacing "negligently" with "with criminal negligence" as the mens rea for such offense, designated existing provisions re cruelty to a child as Subsec. (b)(1) and amended said Subsec. to make provisions applicable to a child under nineteen years of age rather than under sixteen years of age, add "intentionally" as the mens rea for the offense of maltreating, torturing, overworking or cruelly or unlawfully punishing a child, replace "wilfully" with "intentionally" as the mens rea for the offense of depriving a child of necessary food, clothing or shelter and increase the penalty for such intentional acts to a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or imprisonment of not more than five years or both, reenacted existing provisions re negligently depriving a child of necessary food, clothing or shelter and the penalty therefor as Subsec. (b)(2) and amended those provisions by making them applicable to a child under nineteen years of age rather than under sixteen years of age and replacing "negligently" with "with criminal negligence" as the mens rea for such offense.

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      Sec. 53-21. Injury or risk of injury to, or impairing morals of, children. Sale of children.

      Defendant who intentionally gave LSD to minor had requisite general intent to sustain conviction under section. 85 CA 575. Where there is armed robbery and unknown to defendant a child is present, statute applies even if no intent to harm child since conduct demonstrates reckless disregard of consequences of action. Id., 802.

      Subsec. (a):

      Subdiv. (1): In cases concerning alleged sexual misconduct, an act likely to impair a child's morals must involve physical touching of victim's person in a sexual and indecent way. Such touching, however, need not involve private parts of either victim or defendant. 273 C. 56. Subdiv. (1):In cases concerning alleged sexual misconduct, an act likely to impair a child's health, when committed in a sexual context, includes only those acts that involve direct touching of victim's person and are, or are likely to be, injurious to victim's physical health. Id. First part of Subdiv. (1) prohibits creation of situations detrimental to a child's welfare, while second part proscribes injurious acts directly perpetrated on the child. Id., 138.

      Court's instruction that "likely" had same meaning as "possible", while improper, did not constitute reversible error or deprive defendant of due process since court also gave proper interpretation of "probable" or "in all probability" and evidence supported the verdict. 85 CA 575.

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