Supreme Judicial Court, December 23, 2015
In this case, the term "intellectual disability" in G. L. c. 265, § 13F (indecent assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability) was sufficiently clear and definite, and therefore not unconstitutionally vague.
The legislative history of § 13F, as amended through St. 2010, c. 239, §§ 71-72, makes it clear that the Legislature's intent in changing the statute’s language from “mentally retarded person” to “person with an intellectual disability” was merely to change the nomenclature and not the substance of the statute.
In recognizing that the definition for “intellectual disability” in § 13F is not the same as the definition for a "person with disability" in G. L. c. 265, § 13K, the Court suggests that future jury instructions for § 13F, should incorporate the definition of intellectual disability from the Department of Developmental Services regulations, provided below.
115 Code Mass. Regs. § 2.01
Intellectual Disability means, consistent with the standard contained in the 11th edition of the American Association of Intellectual Disabilities: Definition, Classification, and Systems of Supports (2010), significantly sub-average intellectual functioning existing concurrently with and related to significant limitations in adaptive functioning. Intellectual Disability originates before age 18. A person with intellectual disability may be considered to be mentally ill as defined in 104 CMR (Department of Mental Health), provided that no person with intellectual disability shall be considered to be mentally ill solely by reason of his or her intellectual disability. The determination of the presence or absence of intellectual disability requires that exercise of clinical judgment.