You are here

8.177 Attempted Sexual Abuse of Person in Official Detention

Printer-friendly version


The defendant is charged in [Count _______ of] the indictment with attempted sexual abuse of a person in official detention in violation of Section 2243(b) 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 engage in a sexual act with [name of victim], who at the time was in official detention at [specify place of federal jurisdiction] and was under the custodial, supervisory, or disciplinary authority of the defendant; and

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

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.

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

In this case, "official detention" means [specify official detention definition].


See Comment to Instruction 8.164 (Aggravated Sexual Abuse).

"Official detention" is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2246(5). 

"[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).