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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JANE DOE A/K/A JOAN HILL (06/24/83)

filed: June 24, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JANE DOE A/K/A JOAN HILL, APPELLANT



No. 2510 Philadelphia 1981, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of August 27, 1981, Court of Common Pleas, Delaware County, Criminal Division, at No. 1947A of 1981.

COUNSEL

Peter J. Savage, Wilkes-Barre, for appellant.

Helen T. Kane, Assistant District Attorney, Media, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Hester, Johnson and Popovich, JJ. Popovich, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Johnson

[ 316 Pa. Super. Page 4]

Appellant was found guilty by a jury on August 27, 1981 of violating the Pennsylvania obscenity statute, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5903(a)(2), in that she sold and displayed obscene materials to adults. Following denial of her oral post-verdict motions, she was sentenced to three years probation and fined $1,000. This appeal followed.

The facts indicate that on March 26, 1981, a Detective Greenwalt entered the Adult House, an adult bookstore located in Millbourne, Pennsylvania. Appellant was the sole employee present in the store at that time and she was observed seated at the cash register in the front of the store by a Detective Greenwalt. He observed various sexual devices hanging on racks on the wall including vibrators, artificial penises and artificial vaginas, all of which were displayed for sale. In the center of the store, Detective Greenwalt noticed a table on which were piled numerous magazines. The covers of these magazines depicted various

[ 316 Pa. Super. Page 5]

    types of sexual conduct by either males or females exclusively or both. Books, films and additional magazines were displayed for sale throughout the store. At the rear of the store, Detective Greenwalt observed plywood video booths or "peep shows", where movies or portions thereof could be viewed after depositing quarters into a coin box.

Detective Greenwalt browsed throughout the store for approximately ten minutes. He then obtained change from Appellant and watched two movies which included various sexual acts by a male and female including scenes of bondage, anal and vaginal intercourse. Detective Greenwalt then selected two magazines and a book which he brought to Appellant at the front of the store. Appellant rang up the sale, Greenwalt paid her, and Appellant placed the items in a bag.

Shortly thereafter, Trooper Donald Fredericks of the Pennsylvania State Police entered the store and browsed around for approximately ten minutes. Trooper Fredericks then obtained change from Appellant and proceeded to the "peep show" area. Trooper Fredericks viewed a film depicting a male and female engaged in several sex acts. A second film viewed by Fredericks depicted two females engaged in sexual acts. Fredericks selected three magazines which he purchased from Appellant and then departed.

Based upon the observations of these officers, an arrest warrant was obtained and Appellant was arrested and charged with violations of the obscenity statute, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5903.

Appellant raises seven issues on appeal, viz., (1) the adequacy of the scope of the voir dire, (2) whether it was essential to conduct a voir dire with respect to the educational, occupational and religious backgrounds of the prospective jurors, based on the charge in the instant case, (3) whether it was prejudicial for the trial court to permit an assistant district attorney, who had met with Appellant some three ...


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