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COMMONWEALTH v. SILIA (12/14/60)

December 14, 1960

COMMONWEALTH
v.
SILIA, APPELLANT.



Appeals, Nos. 273 to 280, inclusive, April T., 1960, from judgments of Court of Quarter Sessions of Allegheny County, Sept. T., 1959, Nos. 186, and 188 to 203, inclusive, and from judgments of Court of Oyer and Terminer of Allegheny County, March T., 1959, No. 108, and Sept. T., 1959, Nos. 72, 73, 74, 75, and 93, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Nicholas Silia, Jr. Judgments affirmed; reargument refused January 24, 1961.

COUNSEL

Nicholas Silia, Jr., appellant, in propria persona.

William Claney Smith, and Samuel Strauss, Assistant District Attorneys, and Edward Boyle, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, Watkins, and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Watkins

[ 194 Pa. Super. Page 293]

OPINION BY WATKINS, J.

In this appeal from the judgments and sentences of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Allegheny County and from the orders denying motions in arrest of judgment and for a new trial, the defendant-appellant, Nicholas Silia, Jr., had been charged with eleven offenses of false pretense, one of statutory rape, four of felonious rape, three of pandering, one of sodomy, one of violation of the Firearms Act and two of pointing firearms. During the trial and after hearing the Commonwealth's testimony he withdrew his pleas of not guilty of statutory rape and entered a plea of guilty. He was convicted of all charges except one of felonious rape.

On motions in arrest of judgment and for a new trial, the court en banc below sustained motions in arrest of judgment in ten of the eleven convictions of false pretense; sustained also similar motions in the three convictions of felonious rape; but denied motions

[ 194 Pa. Super. Page 294]

    in arrest of judgment and for a new trial in all the other convictions.

All the cases arose out of a situation in which Nicholas Silia, Jr., set up a bogus "Escort Service". The false pretense charge was based on his obtaining the sum of $50 from an applicant for employment in the Escort Service for the purpose of paying for a fidelity bond which was never obtained. The pandering convictions were based upon occurrences also connected with the so-called Escort Service in which it was charged that the defendant induced women to engage in acts of prostitution with one William Thompson. The firearms convictions arose out of actions in which the defendant possessed a luger pistol and pointed it at certain of the young ladies, employees of the Escort Service, in order to induce them to perform certain immoral acts. The sodomy convictions also were based on incidents involving him with some of the women employees in the Escort Service.

It is well settled that in order to constitute the offense of false pretense, Act of June 24, 1939, P.L. 872, § 836, as amended, 18 PS § 4836, there must be a false representation of an existing fact, a reliance on this false statement, the obtaining of the money as a result thereof, and the false representations must have been made with intent to defraud. Com. v. Campbell, 116 Pa. Superior Ct. 180, 176 A. 246 (1935). False pretense is defined in the law as the false representation of an existing fact. Com. v. Gross, 161 Pa. Superior Ct. 613, 618, 56 A.2d 303 (1948).

The evidence of the Commonwealth established that the defendant represented that he was conducting a legitimate business; that he advertised for employees in his Escort Service; that each employee was required to tender with their application the amount of $50; that this was represented to ...


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