given, clearly established the crimes of statutory rape (18 P.S. § 4721) and corrupting the morals of a minor (18 P.S. § 4532). See Commonwealth v. Boulden, 179 Pa. Super. 328, 116 A. 2d 867 (1955); Commonwealth v. Ebert, 146 Pa. Super. 362, 22 A. 2d 610 (1941). There was other evidence which corroborated, in part, the girl's testimony. Since there was some evidence tending to prove each element of the crimes, relator's convictions were not obtained in violation of due process of law.
Flowers contends that his arrest was unlawful because the police lacked probable cause to make it.
Under Pennsylvania law, an arrest without a warrant is valid only if the arresting officers have reasonable grounds to believe that the accused has committed a felony [ Commonwealth ex rel. McNeair v. Rundle, 416 Pa. 301, 206 A. 2d 329 (1965)], or, in the case of a misdemeanor, if the offense is committed in the officers' presence. Commonwealth v. Calvarese, 199 Pa. Super. 319, 185 A. 2d 657 (1962).
Federal constitutional law permits an arrest without a warrant only where the arresting officers have probable cause to make the arrest, that is, whenever "the facts and circumstances within [the arresting officers'] knowledge and of which they had reasonably trustworthy information were sufficient to warrant a prudent man in believing that the petitioner had committed or was committing an offense." Beck v. Ohio, 379 U.S. 89, 91, 85 S. Ct. 223, 225, 13 L. Ed. 2d 142 (1964); Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160, 69 S. Ct. 1302, 93 L. Ed. 1879 (1949).
When the police initially knocked on relator's door late in the evening of September 29, 1965, they lacked probable cause to make an arrest. Relator conceded at trial, however, that he admitted the police officers into his apartment. When they entered, they saw an obviously underage girl, virtually nude, in a man's apartment late in the evening. Under such circumstances, the police had reason to believe that a felony (statutory rape) had been or was about to be committed, or that a misdemeanor (corrupting the morals of a minor) was being committed in their presence.
Assuming arguendo that relator's arrest was unlawful, the conviction is still valid. An unlawful arrest does not vitiate an otherwise valid conviction. Abraham v. Wainwright, 407 F.2d 826 (5th Cir. 1969); United States ex rel. Orsini v. Reincke, 286 F. Supp. 974 (D. Conn.), aff'd, 397 F.2d 977 (2d Cir. 1968), cert. denied, 393 U.S. 1050, 89 S. Ct. 689, 21 L. Ed. 2d 692 (1969). In the instant case, the police officers entered the premises lawfully. The girl was in their plain sight, and they could lawfully solicit her as a witness. Relator's premises were apparently not searched, nor any evidence seized. Relator cannot validly assert that the alleged illegality of his arrest tainted the testimony voluntarily given by a third person lawfully solicited by the police.
Since relator's conviction was free of constitutional errors, the petition for writ of habeas corpus will be denied without hearing.
It is ordered, this 21st day of July, 1970, that the Petition of Charles Flowers for Writ of Habeas Corpus be denied without hearing.
There is no probable cause for appeal from this Order.