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COMMONWEALTH v. BROWN (10/12/71)

decided: October 12, 1971.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
BROWN, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of Superior Court, Oct. T., 1970, Nos. 52 and 53, affirming judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, June T., 1969, Nos. 1789 and 1791, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Carl A. Brown, Jr.

COUNSEL

Harold Yaskin, Assistant Defender, with him John W. Packel, Assistant Defender, and Vincent J. Ziccardi, Defender, for appellant.

Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorney, with him Victor J. DiNubile, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, James D. Crawford, Deputy District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Eagen, O'Brien, Pomeroy and Barbieri, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien. Mr. Justice Roberts took no part in the consideration or decision of this case. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Pomeroy.

Author: O'brien

[ 444 Pa. Page 319]

Appellant, after a jury trial, was found guilty of corrupting the morals of a minor and assault with intent to ravish. After denial of his post-trial motions, appellant was sentenced to one to five years on the assault with intent to ravish charge and three years probation to follow for corrupting the morals of a minor. Upon appeal to the Superior Court, the judgments of sentence were affirmed. We then allowed the instant appeal.

Appellant's major contention is that the evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to sustain a finding

[ 444 Pa. Page 320]

    that appellant possessed the specific intent to ravish. We disagree. The law on this matter is clear: "The Commonwealth need not prove an actual physical attempt to commit rape. . . . There must, however, be evidence legally sufficient to support a finding by the jury that the acts and declarations of [the appellant], as testified to by [the prosecutrix], 'manifested an intention upon his part, not merely to persuade and induce her to accede to his expressed desire to have intercourse with her, but also, in the event of her refusal, to overcome her resistance.'" Commonwealth v. Shrodes, 354 Pa. 70, 72, 46 A.2d 483 (1946).

The evidence presented by the Commonwealth, which was believed by the jury, was as follows: Appellant attempted to engage the services of the sixteen-year-old prosecutrix to help him solicit signatures for anti-Vietnam petitions. Asking her to come with him to his "office," in order to obtain petition forms for her to have people sign, appellant succeeded in duping the young lady into going with him to the second floor of the Parker Hotel, where his "office" allegedly was. Then, as the prosecutrix testified: "A. So we got to his office. He had a key. And he put the key in. I had a lot of books. I had a beaded shoulder bag, and I had my blouse. And he just pushed. Q. Who did he push? A. Me. Q. Where did he push you? A. In the office. Because at that time I had so many books, I mean, I don't know. And his office wasn't an office. Q. Well, what was it when you got inside? A. There was a lamp and a sink, a bed. Q. Jurors can't hear you. A lamp, a sink? A. There was a lamp, a sink, a bed, and I don't know, that's all I know. Q. What kind of push did he give you to get you inside? Did you get inside? A. Yes. Q. What kind of push did he give you? A. (No response.) Q. Where did he push you? What part of your body did he hit? A. Just on my back. Just -- I

[ 444 Pa. Page 321]

    don't know. I wasn't -- Q. What happened when you got inside? A. My books, I had -- we had had examinations, I had a lot of books, I had to clean out my locker, and I dropped my books, my bag, but my shoulder bag was -- it was still on my shoulder. And he just locked the door. And -- Q. Then what happened? A. He told me that he had a gun. He said strip, I have a gun. He didn't ...


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