The defendant was acquitted of having sexual intercourse with a woman placed in his care, contrary to Penal Code § 219 which provides that any person who is employed in or in charge of any children’s or young person’s home or institution for the mentally deficient, among others, and who has sexual intercourse with any person who is an inmate of the same institution, shall be liable to imprisonment for any term not exceeding four years. The defendant, a thirty-year old man, was approved by the municipality to have children and adolescents in his care at his home. The victim was a twenty-four year old woman who was placed in his care for her drug abuse. The Municipal Court and the High Court found that Penal Code § 219 was intended to protect individuals under state care from disregard of special duties or abuses of power by employees and superintendents of the mentioned institutions. According to the travaux preparatories, Penal Code § 219 applies to both public and private foster homes as well as institutions and therefore, would apply in this case. However, the court found that the protection from sexual relations in relation to arrangements for private care is provided for by different provisions of the Penal Code, not the travaux preparatories of § 219. Consistent with this finding, the High Court found the defendant not guilty because the provision in § 219 only applies with certainty to those under institutional care, not private care.




Western High Court

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