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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GERALD JAMES ROSS (06/18/85)

submitted: June 18, 1985.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
GERALD JAMES ROSS, JR., APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence November 16, 1984 in the Court of Common Pleas of Elk County, Criminal No. 141 of 1984.

COUNSEL

George N. Daghir, Saint Marys, for appellant.

James A. Meyer, District Attorney, Saint Marys, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Rowley, Olszewski and Del Sole, JJ.

Author: Olszewski

[ 345 Pa. Super. Page 573]

This appeal follows judgment of sentence for rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. Appellant was tried by a jury and convicted for an attack upon his daughter. Following denial of his post-trial motions, appellant was sentenced to a term of 11 to 22 years imprisonment.*fn1 He now appeals.

Appellant raises four challenges to his convictions. The lower court dismissed these claims. After reviewing the record and briefs in this case, we are satisfied that appellant's contentions lack merit. For the reasons below, we too reject appellant's claims.

Appellant argues first that the trial court improperly limited his cross-examination of the victim. The girl was 12 years old. Appellant alleges that she may have fabricated the story in order to get attention. At trial he sought to substantiate this claim by asking the girl on cross-examination whether any of her friends had been raped. The prosecution objected. At side bar, counsel explained:

MR. DAGHIR: It's kind of difficult for a defense attorney in this type of case to -- if the witness is not telling the truth, then there has to be some reason, and it's a defense point. You don't have to have much ability to show this, whether she fantasizes, maybe one of her

[ 345 Pa. Super. Page 574]

    friends has been raped, which I think is so, maybe one of her friends got a lot of attention, and she wanted attention. I don't know. Just probing.

THE COURT: Do you have supporting testimony?

MR. DAGHIR: All I have is through my investigation, Your Honor, I have heard rumors that her best friend Theresa, I believe it was Theresa was raped, and that Joyce ...


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