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  • PART IV CRIMES, PUNISHMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS IN CRIMINAL CASES
  • TITLE II PROCEEDINGS IN CRIMINAL CASES
  • CHAPTER 277 INDICTMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS BEFORE TRIAL
  • Section 39 Construction of words used in indictment

Section 39. The words used in an indictment may, except as otherwise provided in this section, be construed according to their usual acceptation in common language; but if certain words and phrases are defined by law, they shall be used according to their legal meaning.

The following words, when used in an indictment, shall be sufficient to convey the meaning herein attached to them:

Adultery.—Sexual intercourse by a married person with a person not his spouse or by an unmarried person with a married person.

Affray.—Fighting together of two or more persons in a public place to the terror of the persons lawfully there.

Aggravated Rape.—Sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse by a person with another person who is compelled to submit by force and against his will or by threat of bodily injury; and either such sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse results in or is committed with acts resulting in serious bodily injury, or is committed by a joint enterprise, or is committed during the commission or attempted commission of an offense defined in section fifteen A, fifteen B, seventeen, nineteen or twenty-six of chapter two hundred and sixty-five, section fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen or eighteen of chapter two hundred and sixty-six, or section ten of chapter two hundred and sixty-nine.

False Pretences.—False representations made by word or act of such a character, or made under such circumstances and in such a way, with the intention of influencing the action of another, as to be punishable.

Forgery.—The false making, altering, forging or counterfeiting of any instrument described in section one of chapter two hundred and sixty-seven, or any instrument which, if genuine, would be a foundation for or release of liability of the apparent maker.

Fornication.—Sexual intercourse between an unmarried male and an unmarried female.

Murder.—The killing of a human being, with malice aforethought.

Rape.—Sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse by a person with another person who is compelled to submit by force and against his will or by threat of bodily injury, or sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a child under sixteen years of age.

Robbery.—The taking and carrying away of personal property of another from his person and against his will, by force and violence, or by assault and putting in fear, with intent to steal.

Stealing. Larceny.—The criminal taking, obtaining or converting of personal property, with intent to defraud or deprive the owner permanently of the use of it; including all forms of larceny, criminal embezzlement and obtaining by criminal false pretences.