from the Judgment of Sentence February 3, 2017 In the Court
of Common Pleas of York County Criminal Division at No(s):
BEFORE: OTT, J., DUBOW, J., and STRASSBURGER [*] , J.
Allan Price and Travis Allen Price ("the Price
brothers") appeal from their respective judgments of
sentence entered on February 3, 2017, in the York County
Court of Common Pleas. The trial court imposed a term of six
to 23 months' imprisonment with respect to both men,
following a joint non-jury trial in which the Price brothers
were convicted of statutory sexual assault (4-8 years
older). On appeal, the Price brothers contend:
(1) the trial court abused its discretion when it failed to
determine that the Commonwealth could not meet the statutory
requirement that the Price brothers were not "four or
more years older" than the victim, where such is an
element of the offense of statutory sexual assault; and (2)
whether the court abused its discretion when it ruled they
could not argue the critical factual issue concerning the
meaning of the term "four or more years older" to
the jury. See Trevor Price's Brief at 6; see
also Travis Price's Brief at 5. For the reasons
below, we vacate the judgments of sentence.
trial court set forth the factual history regarding Trevor
Price as follows:
[Trevor Price] engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim.
Trevor admitted to this conduct. The victim was born on May
5th, 1998, at 8:16 a.m. Trevor Price was born on
May 5, 1994, at 7:00 p.m. The first incident occurred in June
of 2012 and subsequent instances of sexual contact occurred
for the ensuing two years. It was also stipulated that Trevor
was 18 years of age at the time of the first incident.
Additionally, simple arithmetic indicates that the victim,
having been born in May of 1998 and the first incident
occurring in June of 2012, was 14 years old at the time of
the first incident.
Trial Court Opinion, 6/2/2017, at 4 (record citations
respect to Travis Price, he also admitted that he engaged in
sexual intercourse with the same victim on one occasion.
Id. The incident occurred in August of 2012.
It was also stipulated that Travis was 18 years of age at the
time of the incident. Additionally, simple arithmetic
indicates that the victim, having been born in May of 1998
and the first incident occurring in August of 2012, was 14
years old at the time of the incident.
Id. at 4-5. Both men have been represented by the
same counsel throughout these proceedings.
the court recited the procedural history of these cases as
[The Price brothers], who are identical twins, were charged
in separate Informations with charges of a sexual nature for
separate incidents involving the same victim. Trevor Price
was charged with Statutory Sexual Assault, 1
Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse, 2
Aggravated Indecent Assault, 3 Corruption of
Minors, 4 and Indecent Assault.5 Travis
[Price] was charged with Statutory Sexual Assault,
6 Aggravated Indecent Assault, 7
Corruption of Minors, 8 and Indecent
Assault.9 Despite the cases being separate, the
procedural histories of each case have, befitting twins,
marched in lockstep. Ab initio, we note that we
administered a colloquy to [the Price brothers] regarding
their joint representation by their counsel and we were
satisfied that they knowingly and voluntarily waived any
1 18 Pa.C.S.A. [§] 3122.1(a)(1).
2 18 Pa.C.S.A. [§] 3123(a)(7).
318 Pa.C.S.A. [§] 3125(a)(8).
418 Pa.C.S.A. [§] 6301(a)(1)(ii).
518 Pa.C.S.A. [§] 3126(a)(8).
618 Pa.C.S.A. [§] 3122.1(a)(1).
718 Pa.C.S.A. [§] 3125(a)(8).
818 Pa.C.S.A. [§] 6301(a)(1)(ii).
918 Pa.C.S.A. [§] 3126(a)(8).
On July 17, 2014, [the Price brothers] separately filed their
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and/or Motion to
Quash Information. Subsequently, on August 13, 2014, the
Commonwealth's Brief in Opposition to Defendant's
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus was docketed. The
Commonwealth filed a motion on August 12, 2014 to consolidate
the cases for trial, which was denied by this Court on
December 1, 2014 as the charges against [the Price brothers]
involved two separate incidents and, thus, two separate
crimes had been alleged. On December 23, 2014, we reserved
our decision on the habeas corpus motions. Then, on
April 16, 2015, we issued an Order and an Opinion denying
[the Price brothers]' motions for habeas corpus
relief. On December 28, 2015, the Commonwealth filed a Motion
in Limine seeking to preclude counsel for [the Price
brothers] from arguing to a jury the same age-gap theory that
had undergirded [the Price brothers]' habeas
corpus petitions and which this Court had denied. One
day later, we granted the Commonwealth's Motion in
Limine. Then, on January 19, 2016, we received Notice
from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania that [the Price
brothers] had submitted Petitions for Writ of Prohibition.
These petitions were ultimately denied on May 5, 2016. On
February 3, 2017, [the Price brothers] proceeded to a bench
trial with each Appellant convicted of Count 1 of their