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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ANTHONY WHITE (01/04/88)

submitted: January 4, 1988.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
ANTHONY WHITE, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of May 5, 1987, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Division, at No. 86-04-0663.

COUNSEL

John Packel, Assistant Public Defender, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Donna G. Zucker, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Com., appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Watkins and Hester, JJ.

Author: Hester

[ 371 Pa. Super. Page 579]

This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence imposed following appellant's conviction, in a non-jury trial, of criminal trespass, a felony, and attempted theft. The sole issue is whether the ladies' room entered by appellant was a separately secured or occupied portion of the Society Hill Club within the meaning of 18 Pa.C.S. § 3503(a) so as to justify his conviction of criminal trespass. We agree with

[ 371 Pa. Super. Page 580]

    the trial court that appellant's offense constituted criminal trespass, and affirm the judgment of sentence.

On March 29, 1986, appellant entered the Society Hill Club in Philadelphia, and went into the ladies' room. An aerobics instructor was alone in the room, in a bathroom stall. Appellant attempted to push the stall door open, and she told him the stall was occupied. Moments later, when she emerged, she saw that appellant had taken her gym bag from outside the stall, and was rifling its contents in the adjacent locker area of the ladies' room. She asked him to return her gym bag.

In response, appellant dropped his trousers and approached her in a threatening manner, using obscene language and making indecent propositions, while blocking the exit from the ladies' room. The instructor told appellant that an aerobics class would be entering the room at any minute, whereupon appellant fled. He was arrested a short time later hiding a few blocks away from the club, and was identified as the intruder.

Appellant was charged with burglary, attempted rape, criminal trespass, unlawful restraint, assault, terroristic threats, attempted theft, and defiant trespass. He waived his right to a jury and was tried on July 24, 1986, before the Honorable Theodore A. McKee, who found him guilty of criminal trespass and attempted theft, acquitting him of the other charges. Following the denial of post-trial motions, appellant was sentenced to an aggregate term of one and one-half to three years imprisonment.

Appellant challenges only his conviction of criminal trespass. Specifically, he argues that the trial court erred in finding that his conduct violated 18 Pa.C.S. § 3503(a); he claims his conduct, at worst, offended § 3503(b), defiant trespass. Appellant argues that it was error to interpret the statute in such a way as to consider the Society Hill Club ladies' ...


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