from the Judgment of Sentence July 11, 2014 In the Court of
Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal Division at
BEFORE: GANTMAN, P.J., PANELLA, J., and DUBOW, J.
Jose Largaespada, appeals from the July 11, 2014 Judgment of
Sentence entered in the Philadelphia County Court of Common
Pleas after a jury found him guilty of Unlawful Contact With
a Minor, Endangering the Welfare of Children, and Corruption
of Minors. After careful review, we affirm.
relevant factual and procedural history is as follows. In
2003, then 9-year-old M.L. ("Victim") and her
siblings moved from Nicaragua to the United States to live
with their father, Appellant, and their paternal grandmother.
Appellant began sexually abusing Victim when she was 10 and
11 years old. Appellant would grab Victim, undress her, kiss
her body, and put his penis inside her vagina at night while
everyone else in the house was sleeping. See N.T.
Trial, 4/3/13, at 107-17.
2009, after returning home from visiting her Mother in
Nicaragua, then 15-year-old Victim informed Appellant,
"I don't want to do this anymore." Id.
at 118. According to Victim, Appellant became upset, stated
he wanted to "do it" with Victim, grabbed her,
removed her clothing, pushed her onto the living room sofa,
and touched her breasts and vagina. Id. at 119.
Victim pushed Appellant off her and ran to the bathroom,
where she texted her older brother. Victim told her brother
about the history of abuse and current incident of abuse.
brother came home, confronted Appellant about Victim's
accusations, and angrily left. Within a week or so,
Victim's brother rented an apartment and Victim moved in
with her brother. See id. at 121-25. Approximately
two weeks later, in September 2009, Victim reported the
incidents to police and gave detectives a signed statement.
Victim explained that she had not reported Appellant's
conduct previously because she was afraid and did not think
that anyone would believe her. Id. at 119-20.
October 2009, police arrested Appellant and charged him with,
inter alia, Rape, Incest, and the above-mentioned
charges. Prior to trial, Appellant filed a Motion to Pierce
the Rape Shield Law in order to introduce evidence that
Victim allegedly engaged in an ongoing secretive sexual
relationship with her uncle in Nicaragua. The trial court
held three in camera evidentiary hearings at which
(1) testimony from Victim's older half-sister, who knew
of the relationship between her uncle and Victim, and
testified that Victim and their uncle asked her not to tell
(2) cell phone records showing frequent contact between
Victim and her uncle in the weeks leading up to Victim's
reporting of Appellant's abuse to police;
(3) testimony from Appellant's niece regarding sexual
contact she had with Victim's uncle in Nicaragua in 1998
when she was 14 years old and the uncle was 37 years old; and
(4) limited, non-substantive testimony from the uncle.
13, 2012, the court denied the Motion after determining that
the evidence Appellant wanted to present was not relevant.
trial, the jury heard testimony from, inter alia,
Victim and her brother. Victim's brother testified about
an incident where he returned home from a 4th of
July party, opened the door, and witnessed Appellant on the
living room sofa with Victim on top of him and both were not
wearing pants. The brother was shocked and immediately left
the house. Appellant told the brother he would never do it
again and repeatedly asked the brother not to tell anyone.
N.T. Trial, 4/3/13, at 167-171.
brother also corroborated Victim's testimony and stated
that he was at the movies when he received a text message
from Victim that Appellant tried to touch her
inappropriately. Victim's brother returned to the house
to find Victim crying in the bathroom, confronted Appellant,
and eventually moved out with Victim. Id. at 172-77.
April 8, 2014, the jury found Appellant guilty of Unlawful
Contact with a Minor, Endangering the Welfare of Children,
and Corruption of Minors. On July 11, 2014, the trial court
sentenced Appellant to 6 to 23 months' incarceration
followed by 5 years of probation.
filed a timely Notice of Appeal. Both Appellant and the trial
court complied with Pa.R.A.P. 1925.
raises the following issues on appeal:
1. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying
Appellant's Motion to Pierce the Rape Shield and
prohibiting Appellant from introducing evidence that [Victim]
fabricated the sexual assault allegations against Appellant
in order to conceal and continue her ongoing sexual