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COMMONWEALTH v. RICHARDSON (02/27/75)

decided: February 27, 1975.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
RICHARDSON, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Oct. T., 1973, Nos. 236 and 237, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Keith Richardson.

COUNSEL

Ronald J. Harper, with him Harper and Singley, for appellant.

Mark Sendrow, Assistant District Attorney, with him Steven H. Goldblatt, Assistant District Attorney, Abraham J. Gafni, Deputy District Attorney, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Watkins

[ 232 Pa. Super. Page 125]

This appeal is from the judgment of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, for rape and indecent assault after a non-jury trial.

The appellant avers there was not sufficient evidence to find him guilty of rape on the testimony of the victim alone and because of the time delay in notifying the police. The act having been committed at 6:00 a.m. and the call to police at 5:00 p.m.

The Commonwealth's case was based on the testimony of Miss Priscilla Gaskins, twenty years of age and slight of build. She testified that she knew the defendant who lived two blocks away from her home. She further stated that on September 12, 1973, she left her home for work at 6:30 a.m., and as she came out of her front door, the defendant was sitting on the steps of the house two doors away. The complainant stated that the defendant spoke to her and she responded. She stated further that she was late that morning, and decided to use a short cut through a vacant lot. As she entered the lot, the defendant grabbed her around her shoulders and threw her against a warehouse building. The defendant, a rather large person, ignored her yelled protests, overcame her fighting resistance and had forcible intercourse with her. When the defendant finally released complainant, he threatened her to remain silent about the incident.

The complainant returned to her home right after the incident, but was unable to awaken her older sister. She went to her next door neighbors, told them what had happened to her and they accompanied her back to her home. This time, she was able to awaken her

[ 232 Pa. Super. Page 126]

    sister, who opened the door to admit them. The complainant told her what had happened, and she ordered the complainant to take a bath, go to bed and wait for their parents to come home, which the complainant did. Upon the arrival of the complainant's parents in the late afternoon, they were told about the incident, the police were summoned and the defendant arrested.

Though some delay was evident, it was not unreasonable and the victim did inform the first person she met after the rape, her neighbors and her sister.

The court was impressed with the victim's truthfulness, her testimony being corroborated by the one piece of physical ...


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