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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIAM RUE (02/26/87)

submitted: February 26, 1987.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WILLIAM RUE, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of July 2, 1986 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, No. 84-01-1264, 1265, 1266.

COUNSEL

Robert S. Robbins, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Jane C. Greenspan, Stuart Wilder, Assistant District Attorneys, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Tamilia and Cercone, JJ.

Author: Cercone

[ 362 Pa. Super. Page 472]

This is an appeal from a judgment of sentence imposed after a jury found appellant, William Rue, guilty of simple assault, rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. Appellant was sentenced to three (3) to six (6) years imprisonment on the charges of rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, to be served concurrently. Sentence was suspended for simple assault. This appeal followed.

In January, 1984, the victim, Lillian Bersin, went out to buy some milk for her children. After she bought the milk, Joseph Bozine, the appellant's brother-in-law, a man whom the victim recognized from around the neighborhood, offered to drive her home. Instead of taking her home, he brought her to appellant's residence, where she was forced to remain for three days. The victim's clothing was taken and hidden from her. She was ordered to have sex with appellant and was told that if she refused, appellant would harm her and her children. Appellant threatened to blow up her house and told the victim that he was a member of the Mafia. The victim testified that there were other people in the house while she was held there and that one of them eventually helped her leave the apartment.

The victim reported the crime to the police. A physical examination was performed which revealed bruises all over her body, a second degree burn on her thigh, and abrasions and sperm in the genital area.

Appellant raises four issues on appeal: (1) whether the trial court erred in refusing a requested jury instruction on character evidence; (2) whether the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury that "forcible compulsion" as used to define rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse is equivalent to physical compulsion and not psychological duress; (3) whether the lower court improperly disallowed the use of preliminary hearing notes to impeach the victim's testimony; and (4) whether the evidence was

[ 362 Pa. Super. Page 473]

    sufficient to support the verdict? We find that the trial court committed no error. Accordingly, judgment of sentence is affirmed.

Appellant's first contention on appeal is that the trial court erred in refusing a requested jury instruction which would have informed the jury that evidence of good character, in and of itself, may be sufficient to justify an acquittal. Appellant claims that during the trial, the appellant's brother-in-law (the man who brought the victim to the place where she was raped) testified as to the ...


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