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[U] Commonwealth v. Ricard

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 5, 2014



Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence entered February 12, 2013 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal Court, at No(s): CP-51-CR-0003949-2012




Teason Ricard (Appellant) appeals from her judgment of sentence following her conviction for promoting prostitution.[1] We affirm.

The trial court aptly set for the relevant factual and procedural history of this case as follows.

Police Officer Joseph Ferraro testified that on January 5, 2012 at approximately 12:00 a.m., his tour of duty took him to the area of 247 North Juniper Street in the city and county of Philadelphia. Officer Ferraro went to that location in response to a complaint by the Easy Park Corporation. Officer Ferraro testified that while in plain clothes, he went to 247 North Juniper Street. He described the structure as a building with no signs indicating whether [it is] a business or residence. There were two doors at the entrance, an outer door then a small vestibule with an inner door. He went in the first outer door which was open and then rang the door bell to the inner door. Officer Ferraro looked up and there was a camera inside the small vestibule. The Officer was able to see [] Appellant in the camera. Appellant answered the door and asked Officer Ferraro if he had been there before. Officer Ferraro said yes, and Appellant granted him access into the building.
Once Officer Ferraro entered, he saw a small room almost set up like a living room with two couches and a television. He could see an opening with a door with a long hallway that goes down the building. Appellant asked him if he liked American girls and said she had a Spanish girl working that day. Appellant then yelled down the hallway for the girl. A Hispanic female, Ms. Muldinado, came into the small living room area wearing a robe. Appellant yelled at Ms. Muldinado, "Get naked." Ms. Maldinado took off her robe, wearing nothing but a bra and panties. Appellant asked the officer if he liked Ms. Muldinado and then Appellant led him down the hallway into a room. The room contained a bed that took up most of the room and a small table with a small light with very dim lighting. Once in the room, Appellant told Officer Ferrero there was a $60 house fee. The officer understood this to mean that he would have to pay Appellant $60 to spend time with Ms. Muldinado. Appellant offered no services to the Officer, other than Ms. Maldinado. At that point, the doorbell rang and Appellant exited the room to go answer the door while Officer Ferraro remained in the room with Ms. Muldinado. Officer Ferraro testified that he asked Ms. Muldinado if he should give her the $60 house fee. Ms. Maldinado told him, no, that he would have to give her a fee of $100 for full service. The officer understood this to mean intercourse. At that point, Officer Ferraro identified himself as a police officer and arrested Ms. Muldinado and brought her out to the small living room where his partner Officer David Blackburn was with the Appellant. Police Officer Ferraro arrested Appellant.
Officer Blackburn testified that after he had dropped off Officer Ferraro at that location, he waited about ten minutes then went to the door and rang the doorbell. Appellant answered the door. Officer Blackburn received a call from Officer Ferraro which was a sign that a deal was made. Officer Blackburn pulled out his badge and identified himself as a police officer to the Appellant. After the arrests, the search of the Appellant did not recover any money and a search of the property recovered a credit card machine. Officer Ferraro testified that Appellant told the officers that they had just opened back up for business.

Trial Court Opinion, 8/8/2013, at 2-3 (unnumbered).

Appellant was convicted, following a non-jury trial, of the aforementioned offense and was sentenced to three years of probation. No post-sentence motions were filed. On February 28, 2013, Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal with this Court. Both Appellant and the trial court complied with the provisions of Pa.R.A.P. 1925.

Appellant raises two issues on appeal.

I. Was the evidence insufficient to sustain [] Appellant's conviction for promoting prostitution?

II. Was the verdict of guilty of the charge of promoting prostitution against the ...

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