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COMMONWEALTH v. CRIDER (CREIDER) (03/29/76)

decided: March 29, 1976.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
CRIDER (CREIDER), APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, No. 1665 of 1971, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Richard David Crider (Creider).

COUNSEL

Richard D. Walker, Public Defender, for appellant.

Marion E. MacIntyre and Edwin W. Frese, Jr., Deputy District Attorneys, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

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

Author: Spaeth

[ 240 Pa. Super. Page 404]

Appellant was convicted by a judge sitting without a jury of forcible rape, and on February 22, 1973, following the denial of post-verdict motions and the completion of a pre-sentence investigation, was sentenced to serve three and one half to seven years in prison and to pay the costs of prosecution. On July 1, 1974, in response to appellant's Post Conviction Hearing Act petition, the lower court filed an order allowing appellant to appeal nunc pro tunc from the judgment of sentence.

The statute in effect on the date of appellant's conviction was the Act of June 24, 1939, P.L. 872, § 721, as amended 1966, Special Sess. No. 3, May 12, P.L. 84, § 1, 18 P.S. § 4721, which read in pertinent part: "Whoever has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman, forcibly and against her will, is guilty of rape . . . ."

The incident giving rise to the charge of rape occurred on July 5, 1971. On the evening of that date, Susan Baker, age 16, was walking her dog on a rural road when three men - appellant, Phillip Stoner, and

[ 240 Pa. Super. Page 405]

Darryl Selby - drove up in a pickup truck, and began to talk with her. During the conversation Susan noticed cows escaping from a nearby pasture and asked the men to help her herd them back inside the fence. While in the field doing this, appellant forced Susan to the ground, removed her clothing below her waist with the help of Stoner, and had sexual intercourse with her forcibly and without her consent.*fn1 When a police car stopped near the parked pickup truck, appellant and his two companions fled across the field. Appellant was arrested later that evening at the home of a friend.

On this appeal appellant contends that the trial court erred in refusing to permit cross-examination of the prosecutrix as to her prior sexual experience, and that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence.

I

On cross-examination of the prosecutrix, defense counsel asked: "Had you had sexual relations with a male before this night?" When the Commonwealth objected that the question was irrelevant, defense counsel said: "Your Honor, she has testified she had sexual relations with this man and it is possible for a young girl and she is young not to know the full ramifications of that term ...


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