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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. NORMAN WOJCIECHOWSKI (02/20/81)

filed: February 20, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
v.
NORMAN WOJCIECHOWSKI, APPELLANT



No. 1535 October Term, 1978, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Trial Division of Philadelphia County, Imposed on Bills of Information Nos. 123-127, October Term 1977.

COUNSEL

Richard P. Haaz, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Eric B. Henson, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wickersham, Hoffman and Van der Voort, JJ. Hoffman, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Wickersham

[ 285 Pa. Super. Page 2]

On September 5, 1977, at about 1:00 a. m. a 24 year old woman was out for a walk a short distance from her home in the Juniata Park section of the city. Suddenly a van stopped in the street opposite from her and a man who emerged therefrom, grabbed her by the hair, threatened her and pulled her into the van. She was driven several blocks and then forcibly led into a park where she was brutally beaten and raped. She was able to escape naked sometime thereafter, contacted the police and made a positive identification

[ 285 Pa. Super. Page 3]

    of the appellant, Norman Wojciechowski, who was seized nearby by the police when they alertly recognized the same van mentioned above.

The defendant-appellant came to trial, without a jury, February 1, 1978 before the Honorable Alfred J. DiBona, Jr. He was found guilty of rape, indecent assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated assault and unlawful restraint. On April 19, 1978, post verdict motions were argued, denied, and the defendant was sentenced.

In this appeal, appellant raises five issues which we shall discuss seriatim.*fn1

I.

DID THE COURT ERR IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS THE OUT-OF-COURT IDENTIFICATION?

Defendant contends that the victim's out-of-court identification of him, which immediately preceded his arrest, was the result of an impermissibly suggestive procedure and for that reason should have been excluded at trial. In support of this claim, defendant argues that, because the prompt identification did not occur exactly where these crimes took place, the circumstances became so suggestive that the possibility of misidentification perceptibly increased. This argument is without merit.

[ 285 Pa. Super. Page 4]

At trial, Ms. Patrick stated that the street lights were on when she first saw defendant's face. She also related the particulars of the description earlier testified to by Officer Rennier. As soon as she saw defendant approaching the police van, Ms. Patrick unequivocally identified defendant as her attacker ...


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