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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROBERT MARK PLANK (04/04/84)

submitted: April 4, 1984.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
ROBERT MARK PLANK



No. 387 Harrisburg 1982, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence October 29, 1982, in the Court of Common Pleas of York County, Criminal No. 1570 C.A. 1981.

COUNSEL

Richard K. Renn, Assistant Public Defender, York, for appellant.

Floyd P. Jones, Assistant District Attorney, York, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wickersham, Olszewski and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Olszewski

[ 329 Pa. Super. Page 448]

This appeal follows judgment of sentence for rape.*fn1 Appellant argues (1) the trial court erred when it refused to allow him to present an insanity defense; and (2) the prosecution failed to establish sufficient proof of forcible compulsion to sustain the jury's verdict of guilty of rape as a felony of the first degree.

The facts of rape are undisputed. Appellant entered the victim's home one Sunday morning. He threatened the woman, raped her and fled.

At trial, appellant attempted to introduce an insanity defense.*fn2 The court refused to allow the testimony to go to the jury.

At trial, appellant did not testify. The court did hear, in camera, the testimony of Dr. Stanley E. Schneider, a clinical psychologist, on the issue of appellant's alleged insanity.

The doctor testified that appellant suffered from a mental disorder, "an adjustment disorder with depressed mood and disturbance of conduct." He traced the illness to appellant's chronic abuse of alcohol. The disease manifests itself in alcoholic blackouts. Ingestion of alcohol results in periods during which appellant appears to be in control, but about which he can recall little if anything later.

[ 329 Pa. Super. Page 449]

On the evening before the attack, appellant had fought with his wife. He spent the night drinking. Sunday morning at seven, he raped the victim. The doctor testified that he believed appellant did not understand the harmfulness of his actions at the time of the attack. Further, the doctor believed appellant could not completely understand the consequences of his actions at that time. Dr. Schneider felt appellant's reasoning was defective and his ability to control himself diminished. He testified that "but for" appellant's Saturday drinking, the Sunday rape would never have occurred.

The judge again refused to allow an insanity defense. A jury found appellant guilty of rape, a felony of the first degree. Timely post-verdict motions were filed, heard and denied. ...


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