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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GEORGE STAMBAUGH (07/07/86)

filed: July 7, 1986.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
GEORGE STAMBAUGH, JR., APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of April 22, 1985, in the Court of Common Pleas of Indiana County, Criminal Division, at No. 351 Criminal 1984.

COUNSEL

John H. Armstrong, Indiana, for appellant.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Del Sole and Beck, JJ.

Author: Beck

[ 355 Pa. Super. Page 75]

This is an appeal from a judgment of sentence entered after a jury convicted appellant of raping his minor stepdaughter in violation of Section 3121 of the Crimes Code, 18 Pa.C.S.A. ยง 3121.

Appellant George Stambaugh and his wife were married in July 1977 and they lived together with his stepdaughter, the complainant, and four other children. Testimony elicited at the trial painted a picture of the family's domestic life as one pervaded by violence and brutality. Appellant's wife testified that she and her children had been severely beaten by him on many occasions. A number of incidents were described where appellant had attacked his stepdaughter, hitting her in a surgical wound with a full beer can, kicking her and fracturing her back, and generally slapping and bruising her. The mother, one of her sons, and the complainant all testified that appellant purposely limited the complainant's social contact with children of her own age in order to keep her "for himself." He told the family that he was having sex with his stepdaughter to "straighten her out" and enable her to "learn about sex."

The appellant now raises the following contentions for our review: (1) that the evidence was insufficient to support the jury's verdict; (2) that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence; and (3) that the trial court erred in allowing the Commonwealth to present the medical testimony of a gynecologist. We find all three of appellant's

[ 355 Pa. Super. Page 76]

    contentions to be meritless and therefore affirm the judgment of sentence.

Appellant first maintains that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support a conviction of rape because the Commonwealth failed to present evidence of forcible compulsion or the threat of forcible compulsion.*fn1 In considering challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence, the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth as verdict winner. Commonwealth v. Scatena, 508 Pa. 512, 498 A.2d 1314 (1985); Commonwealth v. Biggs, 320 Pa. Super. 265, 467 A.2d 31 (1983). The test to be applied in this review of the evidence is whether, accepting as true all the evidence upon which the jury could properly have based its verdict, it is sufficient to prove each element of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt. Biggs, 320 Pa. Super. at 267, 467 A.2d at 32.

This court has previously established the force or the threat of force necessary to support convictions for rape:

The force . . . need only be such as to establish lack of consent and to induce the woman to submit without additional resistance . . . .

It is not necessary that the victim be beaten, that the victim cry, that the victim become hysterical, or that she be threatened by a weapon for the crime of rape to occur. The degree of force required to constitute rape is relative and depends upon the facts and particular circumstances of the case. It is ...


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