Commonwealth v. Wassilie

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The Supreme Judicial Court vacated three of the indictments in this case for a new trial, holding that the trial judge improperly failed to include certain language from paragraph three of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, 105(b), in the instruction to the jury on the charges of secretly videotaping children but that paragraph three is not unconstitutionally vague. Defendant was convicted on ten indictments charging him with secreting videotaping unsuspecting individual adults who were nude or partially nude, in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, 105(b), paragraph one. Defendant was also convicted on five indictments charging violation of paragraph three of the statute for secretly videotaping children during the same incident. In a posttrial decision, the trial judge declared that paragraph three of the statute was unconstitutionally vague and vacated Defendant's convictions of videotaping the children. The Supreme Court remanded for a new trial three of the five convictions for videotaping the children, holding (1) the proper unit of prosecution under section 105(b), first paragraph, is based on the individual victims; and (2) section 105(b), third paragraph, is not unconstitutionally vague, but the trial judge improperly instructed the jury on these charges. View "Commonwealth v. Wassilie" on Justia Law