Submitted on briefs December 1, 2016
from Superior Court, judicial district of Waterbury, Damiani,
J. [judgment]; Fasano, J. [motion to correct])
Stephan E. Seeger, assigned counsel, filed a brief for the
Maureen Platt, state's attorney, Catherine Brannelly
Austin, supervisory assistant state's attorney, and Lisa
A. Riggione, senior assistant state's attorney, filed a
brief for the appellee (state).
Sheldon and Harper, Js. [*]
defendant, Ronnie Ovesen, appeals from the trial court's
judgment granting his motion to correct an illegal sentence.
The defendant had been convicted of one count of sexual
assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes
(Rev. to 2008) § 53a-70 (a) (1) and one count of
strangulation in the second degree in violation of General
Statutes § 53a-64bb. On appeal, the defendant argues
that, upon granting his motion and resentencing him, the
court imposed an illegal sentence. We reverse the judgment of
the trial court and remand the case with direction to
reinstate the defendant's original sentence.
September, 2009, the defendant pleaded guilty pursuant to the
Alford doctrine to one count of sexual assault in the
first degree and one count of strangulation in the second
degree. The defendant was sentenced on the first count to
twenty years incarceration, suspended after eleven and
one-half years, with ten years probation, and on the second
count to one year of incarceration to run concurrently, for a
total effective sentence of twenty years incarceration,
suspended after eleven and one-half years, with ten years
probation. Approximately four years later, the defendant
filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence, alleging that
because his sentence included a period of probation, rather
than a period of special parole, it violated our Supreme
Court's holding in State v. Victor O., 301 Conn.
163, 193-94, 20 A.3d 669 (Victor O. I), cert.
denied, U.S., 132 S.Ct. 583, 181 L.Ed.2d 429 (2011), and was
unlawful under § 53a-70. The state conceded before the
trial court that the defendant's original sentence was
illegal, and the court, Fasano, J., vacated the
defendant's original sentence and imposed a new total
effective sentence of eleven and one-half years incarceration
followed by eight and one-half years of special parole. The
defendant appealed, claiming that the new sentence was
illegal, as well.
time of the defendant's resentencing, both the parties
and the court interpreted our Supreme Court's holding in
Victor O. I to mean that a person convicted of
sexual assault under § 53a-70 must be sentenced
to a period of imprisonment and special parole. Our Supreme
Court has since clarified that Victor O. I should
not be interpreted in this manner. State v. Victor
O., 320 Conn. 239, 247, 128 A.3d 940 (2016) (Victor
O. II) (‘‘[t]o the extent that anything we
may have said [in Victor O. I] can be construed as
deciding the somewhat challenging question of statutory
interpretation presented by the present appeal, it was not
our intention to do so''); see id., 247-48 n.9.
Instead, the court in Victor O. I
‘‘intended only to explain that probation was
prohibited and that special parole was the only form of
supervised release that could be imposed'';
Victor O. II, supra, 248 n.9; in sentencing a
defendant convicted of a class A felony. Id., 246. Victor
O. II held that § 53a-70 does not require a court
to impose any period of special parole. Id., 242, 258.
Because the defendant in the present case was convicted of a
class B felony, there is no such restriction on the
imposition of probation. Accordingly, the original sentence
of twenty years incarceration, suspended after eleven and
one-half years, with ten years of probation to follow, did
not violate § 53a-70, and the sentence therefore was not
judgment is reversed and the case is remanded with direction
to vacate the defendant's second sentence and to
reinstate his original sentence.
opinion the other judges concurred.
listing of judges reflects their seniority status on this
court as of the date of ...