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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROBERT BALDWIN (12/06/85)

decided: December 6, 1985.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
ROBERT BALDWIN, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of June 27, 1983, in the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Criminal Division, at No. 7308-82.

COUNSEL

Joseph B. Vanwyk, Media, for appellant.

Dennis C. McAndrews, Assistant District Attorney, Wayne, for Com., appellee.

Beck, Popovich and Trommer,*fn* JJ.

Author: Beck

[ 348 Pa. Super. Page 372]

Appellant Robert Baldwin appeals from judgment of sentence entered on convictions of rape, incest and corrupting the morals of a child. The charges arose out of a course of conduct in which appellant forced his teenage daughter to engage in intercourse and other sexual activity with him.

Baldwin raises the following issues on appeal:

(1) The trial court erred in allowing the Commonwealth to call as an expert witness a social worker who had counseled the victim and who testified concerning patterns of intrafamilial sexual abuse;

(2) Appellant was denied a fair trial by the Commonwealth's withholding of exculpatory evidence despite appellant's requests for disclosure;

(3) Trial counsel was ineffective for not attempting to present to the jury evidence of sexual activity between the victim and her stepbrother to explain away the social worker's testimony and/or to utilize such evidence to argue that the social worker's testimony should not be admitted; and

(4) An evidentiary hearing is necessary to determine whether counsel was ineffective for failing to subpoena and review certain agency records, failing to recall certain Commonwealth witnesses for further cross-examination, failing to interview certain other witnesses and failing to accept a mistrial offered by the trial court.

[ 348 Pa. Super. Page 373]

We affirm. The trial court's opinion at pp. 8-12 adequately addresses appellant's issue (2). We therefore address only issues (1), (3) and (4) in this opinion.

Social Worker's Testimony

At trial the Commonwealth called as an expert witness Ralph Battinieri, a social worker with the Delaware County Department of Children and Youth Services ("CYS"). Battinieri had counseled the victim after she had left her home and reported the incidents of abuse, but he did not testify specifically about the victim herself or his work with her. Rather, his direct testimony*fn1 was framed in general terms and was intended to explain the dynamics of intra-family sexual abuse and the behavior patterns of the victims. Battinieri testified regarding the effects of the incestuous relationship on the victim's self-esteem, the psychological forces which ...


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