In Re T.W., 221 N.C. App. 193 (Jun. 5, 2012)

Because there was no evidence of threat of force or special relationship there was insufficient evidence of constructive force to support second-degree sexual offense charges. The State had argued that constructive force was shown by (a) the fact that the juvenile threatened the minor victims with exposing their innermost secrets and their participation with him in sexual activities, and (2) the power differential between the juvenile and the victims. Rejecting this argument, the court concluded: for “the concept of constructive force to apply, the threats resulting in fear, fright, or coercion must be threats of physical harm.” Acknowledging that constructive force also can be inferred from a special relationship, such as parent and child, the court concluded that the relationships in the case at hand did not rise to that level. In this case the juvenile was a similar age to the victims and their relationship was one of leader and follower in school.