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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIE LEE (12/29/78)

decided: December 29, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WILLIE LEE, JR., A/K/A, WILLIAM LEE, JR., APPELLANT



No. 1714 October Term, 1977, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence imposed on April 29, 1977, by the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal of Berks County, at No. 76048101-1.

COUNSEL

Lois B. Anderson, Assistant Public Defender, Reading, for appellant.

J. Michael Morrissey, District Attorney, Reading, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Watkins, former President Judge, and Hoffman, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Price

[ 262 Pa. Super. Page 220]

Following a jury trial commenced on July 20, 1976, appellant was convicted of promoting prostitution.*fn1 Post-verdict motions were denied, and appellant was sentenced to a prison term of three to seven years, fined a sum of $500.00, and ordered to pay the costs of prosecution. Appellant now contends that a new trial is necessitated by the failure of the court below to charge the jury on entrapment. We find no merit in such an argument, and affirm the judgment of sentence.

The pertinent facts are simple. The Reading Police Vice Squad secured the assistance of an auxiliary policewoman, Ms. Donna Bendel, to act as a decoy in their investigations. She was instructed to stand in the area of Seventh and Chestnut Streets in the City of Reading, a section known to have a high incidence of crime. Both parties agree that she is an attractive woman, and her attire on the day in question included a pair of long pants, a white turtleneck sweater and a green T-shirt. Ms. Bendel's orders were to say nothing until approached, and then merely to reply "What do you mean" if propositioned.

On March 26, 1976, appellant drove by the decoy, parked his car, and walked back to where she was standing. He then stated that she could earn more money by not walking the streets. She replied, "What do you mean," and he retorted that she could make more by turning tricks at the Mushroom Plant. She again responded, "What do you mean," and appellant argued that the career he proposed would be better than standing on a corner. Ms. Bendel then gave a signal to the police officers observing the scene, who apprehended appellant after a brief chase and arrested him.

[ 262 Pa. Super. Page 221]

The defense of entrapment has been codified in Section 313 of the Crimes Code, which states in pertinent part:

"(a) General rule. -- A public law enforcement official or a person acting in cooperation with such an official perpetrates an entrapment if for the purpose of obtaining evidence of the commission of an offense, he induces or encourages another person to engage in conduct constituting such offense by either:

(1) making knowingly false representations designed to induce the belief that such conduct is not prohibited; or

(2) employing methods of persuasion or inducement which create a substantial risk that such an offense will be committed by persons other ...


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