ACCOSTING OR ANNOYING A PERSON OF THE OPPOSITE SEX

In Commonwealth v. Santos, the defendant was convicted of accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex.  On appeal, the court found that Commonwealth’s evidence was not sufficient to support the conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.  At trial, evidence was presented that the defendant approached a young woman at night and repeatedly urged her to talk to him. She refused, and he left in his car. He later approached her again and angrily told her to get into his car.

His conviction was reversed, because the court of appeals found that under the statute, a conviction required proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted in an “offensive” and “disorderly” manner for the purpose of annoying or accosting the complainant. In this case, his conduct was offensive, but it did not meet the definition of “offensive” in the statute, because it did not involve any sexual content.

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