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COMMONWEALTH v. SNOPEK (04/18/63)

April 18, 1963

COMMONWEALTH
v.
SNOPEK, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 35, Feb. T., 1963, from judgment of Court of Oyer and Terminer of Lackawanna County, Nov. T., 1962, No. 15, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Paul Snopek. Judgment affirmed

COUNSEL

William P. Farrell, for appellant.

James E. O'Brien, Assistant District Attorney, with him Joseph J. Cimino, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Rhodes

[ 200 Pa. Super. Page 456]

OPINION BY RHODES, P.J.

This is an appeal by Paul Snopek from a conviction and sentence on an indictment charging him with forcible rape.

Paul Snopek, Douglas Reilly, and John W. Singer were indicted separately, and, on motion of the district attorney, were tried jointly in Lackawanna County. They were convicted and each was sentenced to a minimum term of six years and a maximum term of fifteen years.

Motions for a new trial and in arrest of judgment were refused summarily by the court in banc. Defendant Paul Snopek has appealed.

The evidence establishes the following: The victim was walking along Main Street in the Borough of Blakely, returning from a night high school football game. A car driven by Reilly, with Snopek in the front seat and Singer in the rear, stopped alongside the victim. Snopek jumped out, forcibly seized the victim, pushed her into the front seat with the aid of Reilly, got in beside her and drove away. During a brief stop at a parking lot the victim was thrown into the back seat with Singer. She fought, screamed, and attempted

[ 200 Pa. Super. Page 457]

    to leave the car but was forcibly detained. Reilly then drove to what was described as a mountain or wooded strip mining area. Upon arrival they discovered they had a flat tire. Snopek and Reilly proceeded to fix the tire. While the tire was being fixed the girl was in the back seat alone with Singer, where, she testified, Singer pulled a knife on her, tore off her jeans and undergarment, abused her and then raped her. The girl testified that, after the tire was fixed, Snopek got in the back seat with her and also raped her. She testified that a fight then began between Reilly and Singer. She quickly put on her clothes and watched the fight from outside the car. She testified that during the fight Reilly was stabbed by Singer. After the fight, Snopek assured the victim that he would not molest her further and drove her to a spot near the area from which she was abducted. During this ride she was alone in the back seat. Reilly, who was wounded, was in the front seat with Snopek.Singer was left unconscious on the ground at the scene. Upon being let out of the car, the victim reported the incident to the Pennsylvania State Police. She also reported the stabbing but when the police arrived at the scene Singer had recovered and left. She was taken to the Scranton State Hospital where she was examined and evidence was found which supported her story of the attack. The doctor's immediate examination also disclosed several scars and scratches. She testified she did not remember whether Reilly raped her.

The only other witnesses to the rape were the three defendants. All three admitted they had been drinking heavily for several hours prior to the assaults. Singer accused Reilly of instigating the abduction. He also accused Reilly and Snopek of violence and threats to the girl on the ride to the woods and on arrival there of the most ...


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