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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROBERT B. STRUNGE (05/15/81)

filed: May 15, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
v.
ROBERT B. STRUNGE, APPELLANT



No. 233 March Term, 1978, Appeal from the Judgments of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County at No. 2044, 2044(a), 2044(b), C.D. 1977.

COUNSEL

Anthony S. Federico, Jr., Harrisburg, for appellant.

Marion E. MacIntyre, Assistant District Attorney, Harrisburg, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cercone, President Judge and Watkins and Montgomery, JJ. Cercone, President Judge, concurs in the result.

Author: Watkins

[ 287 Pa. Super. Page 215]

This is an appeal from judgments of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, by the defendant-appellant, Robert A. Strunge, after conviction by a jury of kidnapping, simple assault, rape, indecent assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse; and from the denial of post-trial motions.

The victim, Patricia Ann Gouse, was a student at Harrisburg Area Community College, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She had left her class at 8:40 P.M. and as she walked through campus to her next class, she heard footsteps behind her, a hand was placed across her mouth, and she was told to "Shut up or I'll kill you". She was forcibly taken to a wooded area, struck on both sides of her head, and dragged by the hair to a rear parking lot. She was then pushed into an automobile and driven to an isolated area North of Harrisburg. During the trip, she was forced to perform fellatio on her assailant and upon arriving at their destination, he had intercourse with her two times and anal intercourse once.

Two Commonwealth witnesses corroborated the abduction having heard the victim's screams and finding her handbag and books on the sidewalk. At trial, a State Police officer testified that he had come upon the car in the area and observed the victim and the defendant in the back seat, both without clothes from the waist down. She asked to get out and ran to the police vehicle in her bare feet and related her experiences to the officer.

The physician who examined her at the hospital testified to the existence of contusions and abrasions on her face and ankle and a tear in her rectum.

The defendant admitted sexual intercourse with the victim but claimed she initiated and consented to the sexual activity after he had picked her up as a hitchhiker in the college neighborhood.

[ 287 Pa. Super. Page 216]

After conviction, the defendant was sentenced to a total term of imprisonment of not less than fifteen (15) years nor more than forty (40) years. This appeal followed.

The first question raised by the appeal was that the verdict was contrary to the weight of the evidence. In this kind of case, the jury must usually choose between two conflicting versions of an incident, but here we have the corroborating testimony concerning the screams and the finding of her purse by two students and the security guard. This evidence together with the ...


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