February 14, 2017
from Superior Court, judicial district of Hartford, Suarez,
J. [motion for recusal]; Alexander, J. [plea proceeding].
F. Meehan, assigned counsel, with whom, on the brief, was
Walter C. Bansley IV, for the appellant (defendant).
Hanna, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the
brief, were Gail P. Hardy, state's attorney, and Donna
Mambrino, supervisory assistant state's attorney, for the
Lavine, Alvord and Beach, Js.
defendant, Charles Williams, appeals from the judgment of
conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of
unlawful restraint in the first degree in violation of
General Statutes § 53a-95. The jury found the defendant
not guilty of two counts of sexual assault in the first
degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a)
(1). Following the jury verdict, the defendant pleaded guilty
to being a persistent serious offender in violation of
General Statutes § 53a-40 (c). On appeal, the defendant
claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence presented at
trial to support his conviction of unlawful restraint in the
first degree; (2) the trial court abused its discretion by
denying his motion to reconsider his oral motion for recusal;
and (3) the prosecutor violated his right to a fair trial by
committed certain improprieties during closing argument. We
affirm the judgment of the trial court.
basis of the evidence presented at trial, the jury reasonably
could have found the following facts. The
victim and the defendant met in 2001 and began
dating in 2007. Over time, the defendant became physically,
verbally, and emotionally abusive. On some occasions, the
victim reported the defendant's abuse to the police,
friends, or family, but, on other occasions, she did not
report the abuse because she learned that she
‘‘had to kind of pick [her] battles''
with the defendant. In April, 2012, the victim decided to end
her relationship with the defendant. The defendant was upset
and began stalking the victim. During this period, the victim
and the defendant filed police reports against each other,
and, as a result of one of the defendant's complaints,
the victim was criminally charged.
victim thereafter moved from Bloomfield to Hartford and
changed her phone number on several occasions. Nevertheless,
the defendant continued to come to the victim's house and
call her even though the victim told him that she did not
want to be in a relationship with him and that she wanted him
to stop contacting her. When confronting the victim, the
defendant would often threaten to call the police and make
false reports so that she would be taken away from her
family.During this period, the victim acquiesced
on several occasions to having sexual intercourse with the
defendant because she knew that he would leave her house
February 14, 2013, the victim was at home with her infant
grandson (February 14 incident). The victim put her grandson
down for his nap in her bedroom at 10 a.m. Sometime
thereafter, while the victim's grandson was still
napping, the defendant arrived at her house and began yelling
at her because he believed that she was sleeping with other
men. The victim asked the defendant to leave her house, but
he continued to yell at her. The victim told the defendant
that she was not sleeping with anyone else and asked him to
speak more quietly because her grandson was taking his nap.
The defendant demanded sexual intercourse and threatened to
file a false police report against the victim if she did not
have sexual intercourse with him.
defendant advanced on her, the victim backed away from the
defendant and into her bedroom. Following her into the
bedroom, the defendant pulled a knife out of his pocket and
told the victim to ‘‘stop acting up.''
The victim again asked the defendant to leave, but the
defendant told the victim to perform oral sex on him because
it was Valentine's Day. When the victim continued to
refuse, the defendant grabbed the victim by her hair and
threw her down on the bed, and the victim fell onto the
victim began performing oral sex on the defendant. When the
victim began crying, the defendant became angry and ordered
her to stop crying because she was ‘‘making [him]
soft.'' When the victim continued to cry, the
defendant threw her on the bed, pulled down her pants, and
vaginally penetrated her from behind while holding her down
on the bed by her arms. When the victim heard her grandson
crying, she asked the defendant to stop, but he continued to
penetrate her until he ejaculated. The defendant complained
that the victim ‘‘ruined his sex'' and
then left her house.
February 28, 2013, the defendant returned to the victim's
house while she was there with her daughters and grandsons
(February 28 incident). The defendant demanded to know her
new phone number and with whom she was having sexual
intercourse. The situation escalated and the defendant
punched the victim in the face, breaking her nose.
Thereafter, the defendant left her house. The victim did not
want to report the incident to the police, but one of her
daughters called the police that same day. Although the
victim spoke to the investigating officer and identified her
assailant as a former boyfriend, she refused to provide the
defendant's name at that time because she was afraid of
the February 28 incident, the victim began living in domestic
violence shelters and stopped going to her house and telling
people where she was living in an attempt to get away from
the defendant. During this period, the victim received
medical and psychological treatment. Assisted by the
psychological treatment she was receiving, in April, 2013,
the victim decided to identify the defendant as her assailant
in the February 28 incident. In September, 2013, the victim
further reported the February 14 incident to the police.
defendant was arrested in connection with the February 14
incident and charged with two counts of sexual assault in the
first degree and one count of unlawful restraint in the first
degree. While the defendant was incarcerated and awaiting
trial, he frequently spoke about his case with Elon Henry, a
fellow inmate with whom he was previously acquainted. On
December 5, 2014, three days before the defendant's trial
was scheduled to commence, the defendant told Henry that
‘‘this girl [i.e., the victim] got me going
through it right now. I'm a kill this girl . . . with my
bare hands, and if I don't kill her I'm a get close
and I'm a make her give me head for like an hour this
time.'' The threatening manner in which the defendant
spoke concerned Henry, and he reported the defendant's
statement to a correctional officer that evening.
commenced on December 8, 2014. The defendant presented an
alibi defense, supported by his own testimony and the
testimony of his mother, his sister, his nephew, and his
girlfriend's cousin. The jury found the defendant guilty
of unlawful restraint in the first degree but not guilty of
the two counts of sexual assault in the first degree.
Following the jury verdict, the defendant pleaded guilty to
being a persistent serious felony offender. The defendant was
sentenced to ten years imprisonment. This appeal followed.
Additional facts will be set forth as necessary.
begin with the defendant's claim that there was
insufficient evidence presented at trial to convict him of
unlawful restraint in the first degree. Specifically, the
defendant claims that there was insufficient evidence as to
the elements of restraint and intent. We disagree.
begin with the standard of review and legal principles that
guide our analysis. ‘‘In reviewing the sufficiency
of the evidence to support a criminal conviction we apply a
two-part test. First, we construe the evidence in the light
most favorable to sustaining the verdict. Second, we
determine whether upon the facts so construed and the
inferences reasonably drawn therefrom the [finder of fact]
reasonably could have concluded that the cumulative force of
the evidence established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. . .
note that the jury must find every element proven beyond a
reasonable doubt in order to find the defendant guilty of the
charged offense, [but] each of the basic and inferred facts
underlying those conclusions need not be proved beyond a
reasonable doubt. . . . If it is reasonable and logical for
the jury to conclude that a basic fact or an inferred fact is
true, the jury is permitted to consider the fact proven and
may consider it in combination with other proven facts in
determining whether the cumulative effect of all the evidence
proves the defendant guilty of all the elements of the crime
charged beyond a reasonable doubt. . . .
[a]s we have often noted, proof beyond a reasonable doubt
does not mean proof beyond all possible doubt . . . nor does
proof beyond a reasonable doubt require acceptance of every
hypothesis of innocence posed by the defendant that, had it
been found credible by the [finder of fact], would have
resulted in an acquittal. . . . On appeal, we do not ask
whether there is a reasonable view of the evidence that would
support a reasonable hypothesis of innocence. We ask,
instead, whether there is a reasonable view of the evidence
that supports the [finder of fact's] verdict of
guilty.'' (Internal quotation marks omitted.)
State v. Crespo, 317 Conn. 1, 16-17, 115
A.3d 447 (2015).
person is guilty of unlawful restraint in the first degree
when he restrains another person under circumstances which
expose such other person to a substantial risk of physical
injury.'' General Statutes § 53a-95 (a).
‘‘[T]he hallmark of an unlawful restraint . . .
is a restraint.'' State v. Salamon,
287 Conn. 509, 530, 949 A.2d 1092 (2008). ‘‘As
applicable to § 53a-95 (a), [p]er-sons are restrained
when their movements are intentionally restricted so as
substantially to interfere with their liberty, either (1) by
moving them from one place to another, or (2) by confining
them either to the place where the restriction commences or
to the place where they have been moved without their
consent. General Statutes § 53a-91 (1).''
(Internal quotation marks omitted.) State v.
Youngs, 97 Conn.App. 348, 354, 904 A.2d 1240, cert.
denied, 280 Conn. 930, 909 A.2d 959 (2006).
unlawful restraint in the first degree requires that the
defendant had the specific intent to restrain the victim.
State v.Salamon, supra, 287 Conn. 570.
Specific intent is ‘‘an intent to bring about a
certain result.'' Id., 572. Thus, to prove unlawful
restraint in the first degree, the state must also
‘‘establish that the defendant had restricted the
victim's movements intentionally and unlawfully
in such a manner as to interfere substantially ...