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8.165 Attempted Aggravated Sexual Abuse

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The defendant is charged in [Count _______ of] the indictment with attempted aggravated sexual abuse in violation of Section 2241(a) of Title 18 of the United States Code. In order for the defendant to be found guilty of that charge, the government must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

First, the defendant intended to [use force] [threaten or place [name of victim] in fear that some person would be subjected to death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping] to cause [name of victim] to engage in a sexual act;

Second, the defendant did something that was a substantial step toward committing the crime; and

Third, the offense was committed at [specify place of federal jurisdiction].

In this case, "sexual act" means [specify statutory definition].

Mere preparation is not a substantial step toward committing the crime. To constitute a substantial step, a defendant’s act or actions must demonstrate that the crime will take place unless interrupted by independent circumstances.


See Comment to Instruction 8.164 (Aggravated Sexual Abuse).

See 18 U.S.C. § 2246(2) for the definition of sexual act referred to in the penultimate paragraph of the instruction.

"[A] person may be convicted of an attempt to commit a crime even though that person may have actually completed the crime." United States v. Rivera-Relle, 333 F.3d 914, 921 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 540 U.S. 977 (2003).

"To constitute a substantial step toward the commission of a crime, the defendant’s conduct must (1) advance the criminal purpose charged, and (2) provide some verification of the existence of that purpose." United States v. Goetzke, 494 F.3d 1231, 1235 (9th Cir.2007). Jurors do not need to agree unanimously as to which particular act or actions constituted a substantial step toward the commission of a crime. United States v. Hofus, 598 F.3d 1171, 1176 (9th Cir.2010).