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COMMONWEALTH v. SHRINER (12/11/74)

decided: December 11, 1974.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
SHRINER, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, No. 1955 of 1972, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Harry Seymour Shriner.

COUNSEL

Edward F. Browne, Jr., Assistant Public Defender, and Theodore S. Danforth, Public Defender, for appellant.

Charles A. Achey, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, and D. Richard Eckman, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Price, J.

Author: Price

[ 232 Pa. Super. Page 308]

On April 2, 1973, Harry Seymour Shriner, appellant, was convicted of rape following a jury trial. On November 9, 1973, he was sentenced to a term of one to two years in prison, and ordered to pay $100.00 plus costs. It is from this judgment of sentence that appellant raises this appeal.

Appellant alleges errors which he feels warrant arrest of judgment and/or the grant of a new trial. We find no merit in these contentions, and will affirm the judgment of the lower court.

The first allegation of error is that the evidence was insufficient to sustain appellant's conviction. It is wellsettled law that in testing the sufficiency of the evidence, we must review the testimony in the light most favorable to the verdict winner. Commonwealth v. Palmer, 229 Pa. Superior Ct. 1, 323 A.2d 69 (1974); Commonwealth v. Porter, 229 Pa. Superior Ct. 314, 323 A.2d 128 (1974). In so doing, we will accept as true the Commonwealth's evidence and all reasonable inferences arising therefrom, Commonwealth v. Hornberger, 441 Pa. 57, 270 A.2d 195 (1970), and will not overturn the verdict on grounds of insufficient evidence where there has been no abuse of discretion by the factfinder. Commonwealth v. Zapata, 447 Pa. 322, 290 A.2d 114 (1972); Commonwealth v. Porter, supra.

[ 232 Pa. Super. Page 309]

The testimony credited by the jury reveals the following facts:

On the evening of July 24, 1972, appellant and three other young men were sitting in a car parked in the lot adjacent to a laundromat at Middletown Plaza. At about 8:15 p.m., Theresa Saylor, the prosecutrix below, walked near the car, was grabbed by two of the occupants, and pulled into the car through the window. Theresa testified that she knew the boys and thought that they were "just joking around." [NT 20] Both Theresa and a friend who saw her in the car told the boys that Theresa had to be home at 8:30 and she would be late if they did not let her out of the car, but they would not. Instead, they drove to a place called "The Big 'M'" for pizza. (The appellant was the owner and driver of the automobile.)

After obtaining the pizza, the boys drove to a secluded wooded area known as the "Purple Lights," where they stayed from about 9:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. During that time, they ate the pie and drank beer. Theresa testified that the boys forced her to drink two beers, but she later drank two others of her own free will. She felt sick as a result of drinking that amount of beer, and asked to be let out of the car. One of the boys (a Ronald Snyder) accompanied Theresa on a short walk, and then pushed her back into the car.

Another of the boys, but not appellant, cut a hole in Theresa's shirt with his knife, and then, with Ronald Snyder's assistance, tore Theresa's clothes. A short time later, Snyder forced Theresa to have sexual intercourse with him. During ...


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