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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. THOMAS E. STAUB (04/02/75)

decided: April 2, 1975.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
THOMAS E. STAUB, APPELLANT



COUNSEL

John R. Gailey, Jr., York, for appellant.

Oscar F. Spicer, Gettysburg, for appellee.

Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Jones, C. J., dissents.

Author: Nix

[ 461 Pa. Page 488]

OPINION OF THE COURT

This is one of three appeals*fn1 alleging sex discrimination. Appellant was charged with a violation of the fornication and bastardy statute, section 506 of the Penal Code, Act of June 24, 1939, P.L. 872, as amended, 18 P.S. ยง 4506,*fn2 which provides in pertinent part:

"Whoever commits fornication, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100), for the use of the institution district where the offense was committed.

[ 461 Pa. Page 489]

It shall be sufficient to convict an unmarried woman to show that a child was born of her body.

Any man charged by an unmarried woman with being the father of her bastard child, shall be the reputed father and if she persists in the charge in the time of her extremity of labor, or afterwards in open court, the same shall be given in evidence in order to convict such person of fornication. Such man, being thereof convicted, shall be sentenced, in addition to the fine aforesaid, to pay the expenses incurred at the birth of such child, and if such child is born dead, or shall die during the continuance of the order for the maintenance of said child, to also pay the reasonable funeral expenses thereof, and to give security, by one or more sureties, and in such sum as the court shall direct, to the institution district where such child was born, to perform such order for the maintenance of the said child, as the court shall direct.

After a hearing on the petition of any interested party, such order for the maintenance of such child may be increased or decreased from time to time by said court before or after the expiration of the term at which such man was sentenced. . . ."

After indictment a plea of guilty was entered and sentence was imposed. An appeal to the Superior Court was affirmed and this Court granted allocatur.

Although at the time of the imposition of this sentence, Pennsylvania had enacted the Equal Rights Amendment,*fn3 appellant has confined his objection to the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, U.S.Const. Amend. 14. For this reason we will ...


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