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Commonwealth v. Reyes-Rodriguez

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

March 11, 2015

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee
v.
ALFREDO REYES-RODRIGUEZ, Appellant

Submitted October 15, 2014.

Page 776

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 777

Appeal from the PCRA Order of June 28, 2013. In the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County. Criminal Division at Nos: CP-48-CR-0001684-2006, CP-48-CR-0003501-2006, CP-48-CR-0001683-2006.

Brian M. Monahan, Easton, for appellant.

John M. Morganelli, District Attorney, Easton and Rebecca J. Kulik, Assistant District Attorney, Easton, for Commonwealth, appellee.

BEFORE: BENDER, P.J.E., BOWES, PANELLA, DONOHUE, SHOGAN, ALLEN, LAZARUS, WECHT, and STABILE, JJ. OPINION BY STABILE, J.

OPINION

Page 778

STABILE, J.:

Appellant, Alfredo Reyes-Rodriguez, is serving a prison sentence for his convictions of sex abuse crimes against three minor girls. The Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County denied Appellant's PCRA[1] petition. We granted reargument to determine, among other things, whether Appellant's trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance in failing to request an adequate jury instruction on character evidence. We now affirm the denial of PCRA relief, as Appellant failed to meet his burden of establishing that trial counsel had no reasonable basis for failing to request the jury instruction.

Appellant was charged with sexually abusing three minor half-sisters, M.A. (born in 1990), S.C. (born in 1991), and Y.R. (born in 1995). Appellant was the paramour of the girls' mother while the abuse occurred, and the victims called him their " stepfather." According to M.A., Appellant began abusing her when she was eight years old, shortly after she first met him, and while her family was living in Philadelphia. When M.A. was ten, the family moved to New York City, and Appellant continued to abuse her, two to three times per week. Appellant further continued to abuse M.A., then twelve, when the family moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. M.A. testified that the abuse stopped in March 2006.

S.C. met Appellant when she was eight or nine years old. She testified that he began abusing her when she was ten years old and living in Philadelphia. Appellant continued to abuse her after the family moved to Bethlehem.

Y.R., who was nine years old when she went into foster care, testified that Appellant abused her while they lived in Bethlehem. On March 17, 2006, S.C.'s boyfriend anonymously reported S.C.'s abuse to Child Protective Services. His report led to the removal of the ...


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