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Commonwealth v. Dozier

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

August 20, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee
v.
MAURICE L. DOZIER, Appellant

Submitted August 6, 2012

Page 107

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County. Criminal Division, No.: CP-51-CR-1103561-2000. Before EHRLICH, J.

Peter A. Levin, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Hugh J. Burns, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.

BEFORE: SHOGAN, J., WECHT, J., and STRASSBURGER, J.[*]

OPINION

Page 108

WECHT, J.

Maurice Dozier appeals his December 12, 2002 judgment of sentence. We affirm.

The trial court has provided the following factual history of this case:

The evidence admitted at trial established that in the early morning hours of October 24, 2000, [A.R.] was brutally assaulted and raped in her bed in front of her six-year-old daughter and infant son. At that time, [A.R.] lived with her two children . . . in the City and County of [Philadelphia].
Earlier that evening, [A.R.] saw [Dozier] on the street and asked him if he could fix her refrigerator. She had known him from the neighborhood since childhood. [Dozier] came to [A.R.'s] house and worked on the refrigerator; he spent ten to fifteen minutes in the house. [Dozier] returned a few times that evening, at one point selling her a microwave. [A.R.] had a male guest at the house from 12:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. on October 24, 2000. After her guest left, [A.R.] went upstairs to sleep in the bedroom with her children. Some time later, [A.R.] awoke to a noise in her bedroom. It was still dark, but she saw [Dozier] standing over her. [A.R.] screamed, and [Dozier] hit her on the head with a hard object. [Dozier] pulled down and ripped her pants and underwear, while [A.R.] shouted, " Don't do this. Not in front of my kids." [Dozier] digitally penetrated [A.R.] and tried to penetrate her with his penis. [Dozier] turned her over and placed a blanket over her face and raped her, while [A.R.] kicked and pleaded for him to stop. [Dozier] carried with him a metal bar wrapped in tape and a flashlight[,] the same tools he used to repair the refrigerator that night. During the attack, [Dozier] pushed the metal bar against [A.R.'s] throat and choked her with it. [Dozier] also choked [A.R.] with his hands; he was wearing latex gloves. [A.R.] begged [Dozier] to " . . . stop, don't kill me, just let me go. I promise I won't tell anybody. I won't do anything." Afterwards, [Dozier] got up and left. [A.R.] quickly got dressed, picked up her children, and ran to her neighbor[']s house, where she called the police.
The police arrived within ten minutes and [A.R.] told the officers that she was raped and that it was [Dozier] who did it. While [A.R.] was inside her neighbor's house talking to the police, her neighbor approached Police Officer John McLaughlin and brought him into her house. She told him the perpetrator was walking down Napa Street. Officer McLaughlin approached [Dozier], stopped him, and informed him that he was being investigated for a rape that just occurred. [A.R.] was taken outside to view [Dozier] and she positively identified him as her assailant. [A.R.] was then transported to the Episcopal Hospital for a medical examination and rape kit.
There was a stipulation to the Police Department Criminalistic[s] Laboratory report that examined the rape kit taken from [A.R.]. The vaginal, v[u]lvular, and cervical areas tested positive for sperm. The vaginal and cervical areas tested positive for prostatic acid phosphate, which is an enzyme found in semen. The presence of this enzyme is indicative of recent sexual activity.
The DNA analysis was conducted by Chad Summerfield and Kevin Knox, forensic

Page 109

scientists at the Philadelphia Police Department. They conducted a forensic examination of the rape kit and other physical evidence collected from the bedroom. Mr. Summerfield tested the shorts [A.R.] had on the night of the attack and the fitted sheets from her bed. He also had blood samples from the complainant and [Dozier]. Mr. Summerfield testified that [A.R.'s] DNA was found on the shorts. [Dozier] was the source of the DNA extracted from the bed sheet. He also testified that he would expect to see this DNA profile one time in 4.5 quadrillion. DNA analysis was also performed on the sperm found in the complainant's vagina indicating a one in 53,000 match. That analysis excluded 99.99% of the African-American population. Mr. Summerfield concluded to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty that the seminal stain from the sheet belonged to [Dozier].

Trial Court Opinion (" T.C.O." ), 1/31/2014, at 3-5 (citations to the record omitted).

The trial court related the procedural history as follows:

Following a non-jury trial on July 11, 2002, before the Honorable Willis W. Berry[,] Jr., [Dozier] was convicted of Rape, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Indecent Assault, Possessing Instruments of Crime (" PIC" ), Unlawful Restraint, Simple Assault, and Recklessly Endangering Another Person.[1] On December 12, 2002, Judge Berry sentenced [Dozier] to [terms] of incarceration for the Rape and Burglary convictions of . . . ten (10) to twenty (20) years, to run concurrently; for Aggravated Assault, ten (10) to twenty (20) years, to run concurrent[ly] with the Rape conviction; for Indecent Assault, one (1) to (2) years, consecutive [to] the Rape Conviction; for the PIC conviction, two-and-one-half (2 1/2) to five (5) years, to run consecutive[ly] to the Rape conviction; [and] for Unlawful Restraint, one (1) to two (2) years, consecutive with the Rape conviction. An aggregate term of fourteen-and-one-half (14 1/2) to twenty-[nine (29)] years of incarceration was imposed.
No direct appeal was filed. A timely [petition under the Post-Conviction Relief Act (" PCRA" ), 42 Pa.C.S. § § 9541, et seq.] was filed on October 31, 2003. That petition was ...

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