IN THE INTEREST OF: C.R., A MINOR. APPEAL OF: C.R., A MINOR
Submitted October 27, 2014
Appeal from the Dispositional Order February 10, 2014 of the Court of Common Pleas, Monroe County, Juvenile Division, No(s): CP-45-JV-0000016-2013 and CP-45-JV-0000016. Before HIGGINS, J.
Christopher M. Shipman, Public Defender, Easton, for appellant.
Elmer D. Christine, Jr., District Attorney, Stroudsburg, for Commonwealth, appellee.
BEFORE: LAZARUS, J., MUNDY, J., and STRASSBURGER, J.[*]
Appellant, C.R., a minor, appeals from the February 10, 2014 dispositional order entered following his adjudication of delinquency for involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
with a person who suffers from a mental disability, indecent exposure, and open lewdness, and his commitment to Diversified Treatment Alternatives (DTA) juvenile facility. Additionally, Appellant appeals from the juvenile court's subsequent April 23, 2014 order granting the Commonwealth's petition for re-disposition and placing Appellant in the Mathom House juvenile facility after Appellant was denied admission into DTA. After careful review, we affirm.
The juvenile court has summarized the relevant factual and procedural history of this case as follows.
An adjudication hearing was held on December 19, 2013, where D.D., a minor victim, D.D.'s father and Trooper Nicholas De La Iglesia testified. The facts elicited at the hearing are as follows[.] In December 2012, [Appellant] was 12 years old and D.D., the victim, was 9 years old. After a complaint was lodged, Trooper De La Iglesia conducted an investigation of an alleged sexual assault on a school bus in December 2012. Trooper De La Iglesia went to the home of [Appellant], where his mother was present. Trooper De La Igelesia read [Appellant] his Miranda Rights after which [Appellant] and his mother waived those rights and agreed to speak to Trooper De La Iglesia. During the interview, [Appellant] admitted that he pulled down his pants on the school bus and told D.D. to " suck it." [Appellant] stated that D.D. performed oral sex on him on two separate occasions three weeks prior to that day. [Appellant] also related that he knew D.D. was mentally challenged.
D.D. also testified at the adjudication hearing. D.D. was permitted to testify by contemporaneous alternative methods after an in-camera-hearing. D.D. stated that he sits next to [Appellant] on the school bus. While on the bus, [Appellant], " sucked his weewee" and then [Appellant] asked him to " suck his weewee," but he refused. D.D. then stated that he touched [Appellant]'s " weewee" with his hand. In addition, D.D.'s father testified about his son's mental limitations. D.D.'s father stated that D.D. is mentally disabled and that D.D. was diagnosed with autism, bipolar disorder and oppositional defiance. D.D. has an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) at Pleasant Valley School District and he rides to school on a regular scheduled bus with other children.
At the end of the [December 19, 2013] hearing, [the juvenile court] adjudicated [Appellant] delinquent for the acts of Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse (F-1); Indecent Exposure (M-1); and Open Lewdness (M-2).
Juvenile Court Opinion, 5/14/14, at 1-2.
Following a disposition hearing on February 10, 2014, the juvenile court ordered Appellant placed in the custody of Monroe County Children & Youth Agency (CYA) for placement at DTA. Juvenile Court Order, 2/12/14, at 1. On February 18, 2014, Appellant filed a timely post-disposition motion pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Juvenile Court Procedure 620(B)(1). On March 20, 2014, the juvenile court denied
Appellant's post-disposition motion and filed an opinion in support of said decision.
On April 3, 2014, the Commonwealth filed an " Expedited Motion for Re-Disposition[.]"  In said motion, the Commonwealth asserted that " [o]n March 31, 2014, [Appellant] along with his parents, visited DTA as scheduled[,]" and that after meeting with the program supervisor and touring the facility, " [Appellant] and his parents were obstinate and wholly uncooperative with the treatment process." Commonwealth's Expedited Motion for Re-Disposition, 4/3/14, at ¶ ¶ 3-5. As a result, the DTA program supervisor informed the Commonwealth that he felt " [Appellant]'s placement with DTA would be detrimental to other juveniles at the facility and unsuccessful for [Appellant] himself, and therefore rescinded DTA's offer of admission." Id. at¶ 6. The Commonwealth requested a re-disposition hearing be scheduled to address the matter. Id. at¶ 8. A hearing was held on April 23, 2014, and on April 24, 2014, the juvenile court granted the Commonwealth's petition for re-disposition, and ordered that Appellant be placed in the custody of Monroe County CYA and placed at the Mathom House. Juvenile Court Order, 4/24/14, at 1.
While the re-disposition motion was pending, on April 10, 2014, Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal from the December 19, 2013 adjudication of delinquency and the juvenile court's subsequent February 10, 2014 dispositional order. On April 11, 2014, Appellant was directed to file a concise statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 1925(b). On April 23, 2014, Appellant timely complied, and on May 14, 2014, the juvenile court issued its Rule 1925(a) opinion.
Thereafter, on May 20, 2014, Appellant filed a second notice of appeal from the juvenile court's April 23, 2014 order granting the Commonwealth's motion for re-disposition. On May 22, 2014, the juvenile court adopted its May 14, 2014 Rule 1925(a) opinion for purposes of Appellant's appeal at docket number 1166 EDA 2014.
On appeal, Appellant raises the following issues for our review.
[1.] Did the [juvenile] court violate Rule 1701 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure when it granted the Commonwealth's petition for redisposition after ... Appellant had already filed a notice of appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania?
Appellant's Brief (1166 EDA 2014) at 7.
[2.] Where the testimony presented in the contested hearing established that ... Appellant and Victim, both of whom are incapable of consenting to sexual activity as a result of their age, willingly took part in sexual experimentation, was the decision of the [juvenile] court to find only ... Appellant delinquent of crimes stemming from those acts against the weight of the evidence, based upon insufficient evidence and contrary to the law?
[3.] At the time of the disposition, did the [juvenile] court fail to adequately state upon the record reasons sufficient
to justify placing ... Appellant in a juvenile rehabilitation facility?
Appellant's Brief (1586 EDA 2014) at 7.
We begin by addressing Appellant's appeal at 1166 EDA 2014, asserting that the juvenile court violated Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 1701 by granting the Commonwealth's motion for re-disposition. Appellant's Brief (1166 EDA 2014) at 12. Specifically, Appellant asserts that the juvenile court " altered the disposition [of the February 10, 2014 order] by changing the location of placement after ... Appellant had already filed an appeal." Id.
Rule 1701, in pertinent part, states ...