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JOHNSON APPEAL (12/20/71)

decided: December 20, 1971.

JOHNSON APPEAL


Appeal from order of Superior Court, Oct. T., 1970, No. 1449, affirming order of Court of Common Pleas, Family Court Division, of Philadelphia, May T., 1969, No. 23-69-23180, in appeal of Johnny Johnson.

COUNSEL

Martha K. Treese, Assistant Defender, with her Thomas C. Carroll, Assistant Defender, and Vincent J. Ziccardi, Defender, for appellant.

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

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

Author: Roberts

[ 445 Pa. Page 272]

On October 28, 1969, appellant was adjudicated delinquent on the ground that he had participated in a gang rape and was committed to the Glen Mills School by the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The Superior Court affirmed the adjudication by a per curiam order, and this Court granted allocatur.

Appellant contends before this Court that there was insufficient evidence to support the adjudication of delinquency. Appellant also alleges that the hearing judge erred by reading, before the adjudication of delinquency, a report of appellant's detention hearing which noted appellant's prior arrest for sex offense. After a careful examination of the record, we reject both of appellant's contentions.

In reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence to support the adjudication below, we recognize that the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution requires proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" at the adjudication stage when a juvenile is charged with an act which would constitute a crime if committed by an adult. In Re Winship, 397 U.S. 358, 90 S. Ct. 1068 (1970); Terry Appeal, 438 Pa. 339, 347, 265 A.2d 350, 354 (1970), aff'd, 403 U.S. 528, 91 S. Ct. 1976 (1971). Additionally, we recognize that in reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence to support the adjudication of

[ 445 Pa. Page 273]

    delinquency, just as in reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain a conviction, though we review the entire record, we must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Lawrence, 428 Pa. 188, 189, 236 A.2d 768, 769 (1968).

The complainant in this case, who was fourteen years old at the time of the alleged rape, testified as follows: On the evening of May 14, 1969, at about 8:00 p.m., on Bonsall Street in Philadelphia, complainant was introduced by two girl companions to a group of boys. One of the boys was introduced to her as Johnny Johnson. After the introduction, some of the boys obtained a bottle of wine and went into an old house on Bonsall Street.

Shortly thereafter, as complainant was standing near an alley which led to the back of the old house, John Johnson and another boy grabbed her as she began to run across the street. With John Johnson holding her by both wrists, the two boys carried complainant through the alley to a back door. Despite complainant's demands that the boys let her go, she was grabbed again by John Johnson and dragged into the house.

Once inside the house, the two boys pushed complainant up the stairs to the third floor of the house. At the top of the stairs, complainant attempted to get back down, but her way was blocked by the other boy. At this point one of the boys other than John Johnson ripped the bottom of complainant's dress off. Complainant was then taken ...


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