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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOSEPH COIA (05/17/85)

filed: May 17, 1985.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JOSEPH COIA, APPELLANT



No. 02611 PHL 82, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of August 30, 1982 in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Criminal Division, at No. 2447/1981.

COUNSEL

Richard R. Fink, Levittown, for appellant.

William F. Mabon, Assistant District Attorney, Doylestown, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Beck, Tamilia and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Hoffman

[ 342 Pa. Super. Page 359]

Appellant contends, inter alia, that the trial court erred in excluding evidence of the victim's claims of past sexual attacks pursuant to Pennsylvania's Rape Shield Law, 18 Pa.C.S.A. ยง 3104.*fn1 We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of sentence.

The pertinent facts are succinctly set forth in the lower court's opinion as follows:

[The fifteen year old victim] testified that on the morning of June 2, 1981, she walked to the Coia residence to meet her friend, Joanne Coia, the daughter of Defendant. [The victim] testified it was her habit to meet Ms. Coia and walk with her to their school bus stop. On this particular morning [the victim] was a little late in arriving at the Coia home, and Defendant told her that his daughter had already left for school. He then offered to drive [the victim] to the bus stop, and, as it was raining that morning, [the victim] accepted Defendant's offer of a ride in his yellow Corvette with the vanity license plate, COIA.

Defendant did not drive in the direction of the bus stop. When asked by [the victim] where he was taking her, Defendant replied that he was taking her to school as it was on his way to work. Instead, at approximately 7:05 a.m., Defendant drove the victim to a shopping center across the street from her school. At that point, Defendant parked the car and unzipped his pants. He then

[ 342 Pa. Super. Page 360]

    placed his hands on the victim's head, pushed her head down to his groin, and forced her to perform oral sex on him. Afterwards, Defendant drove [the victim] to her school, dropped her off there and told her not to tell anyone what had happened. A friend of the victim saw her being dropped off at school that morning by a man in a yellow Corvette with vanity plate, COIA, thus effectively negating a so called alibi witness called by the defense.

[The victim] testified that she arrived at school at approximately 7:15 a.m. Immediately upon her arrival she told a friend, Anita Pitera, about the sexual attack. Later that morning the victim also related the details of the incident to her teachers, Sister St. Kathleen and Father Thomas Herron, and to her mother, . . . . The police were called and also that morning took a statement from the victim.

(Lower Court Opinion at 1-2). On September 23, 1981, appellant was convicted by a jury of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault and corruption of a minor. Post-verdict motions were timely filed and denied. Appellant was subsequently sentenced to ...


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