In State v. Bryan, 2016 VT 16 (February 12, 2016), the Vermont Supreme Court upheld a determination that Defendant had fair notice that using a position of authority to coerce and sexually touch a minor constituted “violent or threatening behavior” in violation of his probation condition.
Issue: Defendant challenged the determination that he violated an express probation condition, arguing that he did not have fair notice that sexually touching a minor constitutes “violent or threatening behavior.” He also appealed the denial of the motion for the withdrawal of his assigned attorney.
Holding: The Court held that using a position of authority to coerce and sexually touch a minor clearly constituted “violent or threatening behavior.” It also held that Defendant had fair notice that his conduct would violate an express probation condition and upheld the violation. Similarly, it upheld the denial of the Defendant’s motion for the withdrawal of his assigned counsel.
Dissent: Dooley, J., wrote a dissent, criticizing the majority’s analysis of the term “violent” and finding the majority’s definition too broad.