No. 689 October Term, 1978, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Trial Division, Nos. 881, 882, 884, 886 November Term, 1976.
John W. Packel, Assistant Public Defender, Chief, Appeals Division, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Eric B. Henson, Assisant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Van der Voort, Hester and Wieand,*fn* JJ. Wieand, J., concurs in the result.
[ 276 Pa. Super. Page 91]
Following an eleven day jury trial, appellant Darryl D. Rawls was found guilty of rape, conspiracy, possession of instruments of crime, and unlawful restraint, (Crimes Code, 18 Pa. C.S.A., §§ 3121, 903, 907, 2902, respectively), all evolving from the abduction and rape of a young woman in Philadelphia. Two co-defendants were also convicted of several crimes related to the incident. Post-trial motions were argued and denied and an aggregate sentence of eight to twenty years imprisonment was imposed. On this appeal, appellant posits various trial court and prosecutorial errors in support of his request for a new trial. We find his contentions without merit and will therefore affirm.
Facts adduced at trial established that on the afternoon of October 18, 1976, the victim was waiting for a trolley on the corner of Germantown and Somerset Avenues in Philadelphia.
[ 276 Pa. Super. Page 92]
Suddenly, a man approached and asked her where she lived, after which he placed an ice pick at her side and escorted her to a house on Eighth Street, a few blocks away. Along the way, the complainant noticed that appellant and co-defendant Eddie Rhodes passed her on the sidewalk heading towards the Eighth Street residence. When the victim arrived at the house, she observed about seven or eight men on the first floor, including appellant and Rhodes. Appellant secured the ice pick and ordered the young woman upstairs and onto a bed. There, she was required to "snort" a white powdery substance. Appellant Rawls then removed the victim's clothing below the waist and raped her. Rhodes grabbed her coat and money, while co-defendant Daniel Griffin entered the room to have sex with her. Shortly afterward, the men allowed the woman to leave and warned her to tell no one. She immediately reported the crime to the police after which appellant, Rhodes, and Griffin were quickly apprehended. Griffin confessed to the crime, naming as accomplices appellant and Rhodes.
Appellant's defense suggested that the victim fully consented to the sexual acts and only brought charges when her coat and money were not returned to her. Of the three defendants, Rhodes was the only one to take the stand.*fn1
On appeal, appellant's principal contention is that Griffin's confession, which was admitted at trial, violated his right to confront adverse witnesses contrary to the rule on Bruton v. U. S., 391 U.S. 123, 88 S.Ct. 1620, 20 L.Ed.2d 476 (1968). Specifically Detective Joseph Carlin of the Philadelphia Police Department testified that, after his arrest, Griffin gave a statement implicating himself in the rape. Before the confession was read to the jury, the court and counsel excised therefrom all named references to appellant and Rhodes. Thus, the statement, as edited, was read to the jury by Detective Carlin as follows:
[ 276 Pa. Super. Page 93]
The Witness: "Answer: I was in the kitchen of my mother's house at 2828 North Eighth Street, with two of my friends. We were fixing motor bikes. Some other fellows came into the house and they had a girl with them. They sat in a little room for awhile; they were talking about some drugs. Then they went upstairs. Then me and my friends also went upstairs. Some of the fellows and the girl went into the middle room and closed the door. Me and my friends went into my mother's room; there is a door between my mother's room and ...