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Secrecy; Concealment and Deception

Some kidnapping statutes consider “secrecy” as a required element, but in some jurisdictions, showing of secrecy is not a required element of kidnapping.  Furthermore, in some states, in order to convict a defendant of kidnapping the prosecution needs to prove that the defendant forcibly, secretly, or by threat confined, abducted, or imprisoned another person without his or her consent and without lawful authority, either with intent to commit or facilitate commission of any felony or with intent to inflict bodily harm upon or to terrorize the victim or another person.  When the statutory definition contains secrecy as a requirement, it is an essential element of the crime.

Some statutory definitions of kidnapping have used the word “concealment.”   Concealment depends on the circumstances, and it may be accomplished even on a public highway.  There can be secret confinement in an automobile, within the meaning of a statute requiring secrecy, so long as it is in motion on the highways of the state.

Under some statutes, deception is an element of kidnapping.

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