Lewd or Lascivious Conduct with Child

Reporter’s Note

A charge of lewd or lascivious conduct with a child, under 13 V.S.A. § 2602, can involve any part of the victim’s body.  The actual lewd “act upon or with” the body of a child cannot be viewed in isolation from the context in which the touching occurs and, in particular, the intent of the perpetrator.  State v. Squiers, 2006 VT 26, 179 Vt. 388.  “[T]he determination of whether an act is ‘lewd’ under § 2602 depends on the nature and quality of the contact, judged by community standards of morality and decency, in light of all the surrounding circumstances, accompanied by the requisite, specific lewd intent on the part of the defendant.”  Id. ¶ 11 ; see also, e.g., State v. Discola, 2018 VT 7, ¶¶ 23–24, 207 Vt. 216 (jury could reasonably infer that defendant touched minor victims’ buttocks with requisite “lustful intent”).

Misdemeanor lewdness, now codified at 13 V.S.A. § 2601a, is not a lesser-included offense of lewd or lascivious conduct with a child under § 2602. State v. Beaudoin, 2008 VT 133, ¶¶ 30–39, 185 Vt. 164.