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Commonwealth v. Golson
Superior Court of Pennsylvania
June 4, 2018
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
BRIAN GOLSON Appellant
from the Judgment of Sentence August 9, 2016 In the Court of
Common Pleas of Montgomery County Criminal Division at No(s):
BEFORE: PANELLA, J., MURRAY, J., and STEVENS [*], P.J.E.
STEVENS, P.J.E. JUDGE
Brian Golson appeals from the judgment of sentence of
fifty (50) years to one hundred (100) years in prison entered
in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County on August
9, 2016, following his convictions of numerous sexual
offenses. For the reasons that follow, we vacate the portion
of Appellant's sentence finding him to be a sexually
violent predator and affirm in all other respects.
trial court detailed the facts and procedural history herein
In or about September 2014, Amber Beck was sexually assaulted
in Pottstown, Montgomery County. N.T. May 28, 2015[, ] at
54-55. On a date prior to the assault, a car in which
[Appellant] was a passenger pulled over and offered Ms. Beck
a ride, which she accepted. Id. at
57-58. She knew the driver and had previously
used drugs with him; [Appellant] was a passenger in the car
and introduced himself as Breon. Id. at 138; 57-58.
On the evening of the assault, Ms. Beck was walking home,
alone, from a convenience store. Id. at 58. On her
way to get cigarettes from another store, she ran into
[Appellant] on the corner of King and Hanover Streets.
Id. at 59. She recognized him from their previous
encounter. Id. He asked her for a cigarette, which
she gave him. Id. at 60. She told him she was on her
way to get more, at which time he offered to walk with her
because "pretty young girls shouldn't be walking
around Pottstown at night." Id. She thought he
seemed friendly and protective and that she could trust him.
Id. He convinced her to come with him to a
friend's house and told her that they could get
cigarettes from the friend. Id. They proceeded to
walk to a house on Walnut Street. Id. at 61. When
they arrived at the house, there were three men sitting on
the porch; [Appellant] signaled to the men and they told him
to walk into the alley. Id. at 62. [Appellant]
instructed Ms. Beck to sit on the curb. Id. At this
point, he spoke with a man he identified as his nephew in the
backyard, out of her earshot. Id. at 63-64. They
returned to the alley and the man identified as the
[Appellant's] nephew told her to get on the ground, when
she did not comply, she was kicked in the back. Id.
at 64. She lay on the ground. Id. at 65.
At this point, she heard [Appellant] and his nephew
discussing a "jimmy, " which she understood to be
slang for a condom. Id. Two additional men were
outside at this point, but Ms. Beck could not see them.
Id. There was further discussion about obtaining a
condom. Id. [Appellant] told the men that he knew
she was clean. Id. Fearing she was about to be
raped, Ms. Beck told the men she had a terminal pregnancy.
Id. at 66. [Appellant] said she could do other
things; at which point his nephew indicated it was her lucky
day. Id. At this time, the additional men went back
inside leaving the [Appellant] and his nephew in the alley
with Ms. Beck. Id. at 67. [Appellant] told her to
get up, and she tried to get away, but [Appellant] pulled out
a knife. Id. at 68. He then threatened to kill her
and her fiancé who was in jail at that time.
Id. He held the knife to her collarbone and told her
if she helped him, he'd help her. Id. at 69.
[Appellant's] nephew told her to get back on the ground,
and she did. Id. He then pulled down his pants and
told her to perform oral sex on him, which she did.
Id. at 70. At some point, he ordered her to get up
and pulled down her pants and began touching her before
forcing her to get back down and finish Id. at 71.
The nephew ejaculated, and she tried to get away, but
[Appellant] followed her. Id. at 71-72. [Appellant]
told her that he wanted to help her get cleaned up and that
there was a house they could go to. Id. at 73.
Afraid to walk away from him, he took her to "Uncle
Dave's" house on North Charlotte Street.
On the porch, he took out her pack of cigarettes, which he
took from her when she way laying in the alley, and took
crack cocaine out of the pack and proceeded to smoke it.
Id. at 74. Ms. Beck indicated that she was going to
go home[.] [Appellant] told her to sit on his lap if she
wanted her cigarettes and her money back. Id. at 75.
He pulled her closer to him and reached into her bra.
Id. He also pulled down her pants and fondled her
butt. Id. at 76. When she told him no and that she
wanted to leave, he became aggressive. Id. She told
him to keep her money and cigarettes and pulled up her pants
and started to leave. Id. When she made it to the
street, she ran until she returned to her home. Id.
at 77. Upon arriving home, she told her roommate some of what
happened to her, omitting the sexual assault. Id. He
urged her to call the police, but she refused because
[Appellant] had threatened her and her fiancé.
On October 16, 2014, Ms. Beck went to the Pottstown Police
station because her roommate was arrested. Id. at
87. While she was on her way to the station, [Appellant]
pulled up beside her in a gray minivan and proceeded to
follow her down High Street. Id. He parked in the
lot across from her apartment and told her he would wait for
her. Id. As a result, Ms. Beck reported the sexual
assault to police on that date. Id. at 89.
Mindy Cushman met [Appellant] in or around August or
September 2014 when he approached her as she sat on her front
steps of her apartment at 155 King Street in Pottstown,
Montgomery County, waiting for her son to come home from
school. Id. at 181. He took her hand, kissed it, and
introduced himself. Id. She ignored him, and when
her boyfriend arrived home she went upstairs. Id. at
182. In or around late August 2014, Cushman was walking home
by herself. Id. [Appellant] approached her at King
and Charlotte Streets, grabbed her by the left arm and told
her not to scream or he would cut her up into little pieces.
Id. She felt something pressed into her low back,
which she thought may have been a gun. Id. at 183.
He led her up Charlotte Street and took her into an abandoned
building in an alley. Id. At that point, he handed
her off to a tall, light-skinned African American male with
short hair, who dragged her by her hair backward, up the
stairs into the abandoned house. Id. Once inside the
house, the unknown man forced her onto all fours and anally
raped her. Id. at 186. The man then brought her back
downstairs to [Appellant], at which time he tossed
[Appellant] small baggies containing what Cushman recognized
to be crack cocaine or cocaine. Id. at 187.
[Appellant] then took her by the arm and led her across the
alley into a backyard. Id. at 188. He then pushed
her to the ground, pressed his chest against hers and removed
her pants. Id. Then, he vaginally raped her.
Id. at 189. When he finished, she pulled her pants
up and ran home where she sat in her truck and thought about
what happened to her. Id. at 189-190. She was
worried that her boyfriend would think she was cheating on
him. Id. She removed her underwear and threw it out
and changed into clean clothes that were in her truck.
Id. She did not tell her boyfriend what happened to
Ms. Cushman reported her rape to the police in October of
2014. Prior to going to the police, her friend showed her a
picture of a man Cushman recognized as [Appellant].
Id. at 193. She also spoke with Amber Beck, who[m]
she had known for a short time. Id. at 194. She
showed Amber the picture and ultimately both women went to
the police. Id.
On June 1, 2015, following a jury trial, [Appellant] was
convicted of Criminal Conspiracy-IDSI Threat of Forcible
Compulsion2 (Amber Beck); Criminal
Conspiracy-Sexual Assault3 (Amber Beck); Indecent
Assault -Threat of Forcible Compulsion4 (Amber
Beck); Indecent Assault -Without Consent5 (Amber
Beck); Terroristic Threats6 (Amber Beck); Criminal
Conspiracy-Rape By Threat of Forcible Compulsion7
(Mindy Cushman); Criminal Conspiracy- Aggravated Indecent
Assault8 (Mindy Cushman); Rape-Threat of Forcible
Compulsion9 (Mindy Cushman); Sexual
Assaultl10 (Mindy Cushman); Terroristic Threats
11 (Mindy Cushman).
On August 18, 2015, the Commonwealth filed a Praecipe for a
Sexually Violent Predator Hearing. On October 26, 2015, the
Commonwealth file[d] a Notice of Intent to Seek Mandatory
Twenty -Five Year Sentence. On November 4, 2015, [Appellant]
file[d] a Post-Verdict Motion for a New Trial Based on
After-Discovered Evidence. A hearing on the motion was held
on January 4, 2016; the motion was denied by Order of January
29, 2016. On April 4, 2016 sentencing counsel entered his
[Appellant] was sentenced on August 9, 2016[, ] to an
aggregate term of fifty (50) to one hundred (100) years'
incarceration in a State Correctional Institution, which
included consecutive, mandatory minimum sentences pursuant to
42 Pa. C.S.A. §9718.2 for Criminal Conspiracy-Rape By
Threat of Forcible Compulsion (Mindy Cushman) and Criminal
Conspiracy-IDSI Threat of Forcible Compulsion (Amber Beck).
Mandatory minimum sentences were also imposed for Indecent
Assault -Threat of Forcible Compulsion (Amber Beck),
Rape-Threat of Forcible Compulsion (Mindy Cushman),
concurrent to the Conspiracy sentences. He was also
designated a sexually violent predator as defined in 42 Pa.
C.S.A. § 9799.12.
[Appellant] filed a post-sentence motion on August 19, 2016.
Following a hearing, the motion was denied by Order of
December 16, 2016. The same date, sentencing counsel filed a
Motion to Withdraw as counsel. On January 11, 2017,
sentencing counsel filed a notice of appeal. On January 17,
2017, the [c]ourt granted sentencing counsel's Motion to
Withdraw and appointed new counsel. The same date, the
[c]ourt directed [Appellant] to produce a statement of
matters complained of on appeal, pursuant to Pa.R.A.P.
1925(b). On January 26, 2017, the [c]ourt appointed current
appellate counsel. On February 15, 2017, [Appellant] was
granted additional time to produce a statement of matters
complained of on appeal. [Appellant] has since complied with
218 Pa. C.S.A.§ 903(a)(1).
318 Pa. C.S.A.§ 903(a)(1).
418 Pa. C.S.A.§ 3126 (a)(3).
518 Pa. C.S.A.§ 3126 (a)(1).
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