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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. MARION SIMMONS (04/22/86)

submitted: April 22, 1986.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
MARION SIMMONS



Appeal from the Order of April 16, 1985, in the court of Common Pleas of York County, Criminal Division, at No. 547 C.A. 1984.

COUNSEL

Thomas L. Kearney, Assistant District Attorney, York, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Raymond R. Smith, York, for appellee.

Wickersham, Brosky and Watkins, JJ.

Author: Watkins

[ 355 Pa. Super. Page 328]

This is an appeal from an Order entered April 16, 1985, in the Court of Common Pleas of York County granting appellee-defendant's motion for a new trial.

Appellee was convicted by a jury of two counts of rape, two counts of statutory rape and two counts of indecent assault. The victim was the appellee's twelve year old stepdaughter who lived with the appellee and his wife, the victim's mother.

Appellant, the Commonwealth in this appeal, presents the following questions:

1. Whether evidence of sexual conduct with another which demonstrates a witness' bias, interest, or prejudice or which attacks the witness' credibility is admissible despite the Rape Shield Law?

2. Whether the requirements for the introduction of evidence tending to show sexual conduct with another have been met in this case pursuant to Commonwealth v. Black, 337 Pa. Superior Ct. 548, 487 A.2d 396 (1985)?

This Court held in Commonwealth v. Black, supra:

[I]nsofar as the Rape Shield Law purports to prohibit the admission of evidence which may logically demonstrate a witness' bias, interest, or prejudice or which properly attacks the wittness' credibility, it unconstitutionally infringes upon an accused's right of confrontation under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 9 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

This Court, in holding that the Rape Shield Law may not be used to exclude relevant evidence showing the witness' bias or credibility, also emphasized that not all such evidence is necessarily admissible. Rather, a hearing should be held to determine (1) whether the proposed evidence is relevant to show bias or ...


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