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Commonwealth v. Bennett
Superior Court of Pennsylvania
December 23, 2019
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
SHAKREE S. BENNETT Appellant
from the Judgment of Sentence Entered February 9, 2018 In the
Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal
Division at No(s): CP-51-CR-0003953-2016
BEFORE: BENDER, P.J.E., STABILE, J., and STEVENS, P.J.E.
Shakree S. Bennett, appeals from the judgment of sentence
entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia after a
jury found him guilty on charges of involuntary deviate
sexual intercourse ("IDSI"), robbery, and
possessing instruments of crime ("PIC"). Sentenced
to an aggregate sentence of 22 ½ to 45 years'
incarceration, Appellant contends the trial court violated
his right to confront the witnesses against him and
erroneously denied his motion for mistrial. We affirm.
trial court opinion sets forth the pertinent facts, as
On September 28, 2015, at about 11:30 p.m., Philadelphia
Police Officer Gerard Brennan was on patrol training another
officer in the area of Temple University, when he received a
radio call directing him to go to the 1400 block of Carlisle
Street to investigate reports of a woman screaming and a
rape. The officer immediately proceeded to that location and
encountered S.D., the complainant herein, who was in an
ambulance being treated by emergency medical personnel.
Officer Brennan received information from the complainant
concerning what the alleged assailant was wearing and that he
was armed with a silver gun, which the officer put out over
police radio. The complainant described the assailant as
being a black male, in his twenties, about six feet tall and
wearing a green jacket or vest, blue jeans, and a long black
t-shirt. She further related that the assault occurred about
thirty yards from where the officer encountered her. The
officer then had the complainant exit the ambulance and took
her to the headquarters of the Police Department's
Special Victim's Unit (hereinafter SVU). Officer Brennan
left the Unit after the complainant's parent arrived.
S.D., a student at Temple University, had spent the night of
the incident studying at the library, which she left at about
11:00 p.m., with members of her study group. After stopping
to buy a cookie, she left her friends at Broad and Cecil B.
Avenue and then walked alone a half block north to Carlisle
Street where her apartment was located.
When S.D. reached Jefferson Street and was crossing it, she
heard the sound of footsteps on Jefferson Street going west
from Broad Street. She turned around at which time a black
male grabbed her and hit her on the arm with a small silver
hand gun. The male then [directed] her to a desolate area.
She screamed, but the male, who still was brandishing the gun
told her to be quiet.
The male then rifled through her backpack and wallet, and
after taking some items from it including her cell phone, he
told S.D. to take off her clothes. She did as ordered and the
male put on a condom and anally raped her.fn
Fn. Video surveillance cameras at various locations recorded
S.D. as she proceeded toward her apartment.
S.D. cried while this was occurring and the male ordered
[her] to stop and moan. After about seven or eight minutes,
the assailant stopped anally raping S.D. and pulled up his
pants. After S.D. Put her clothes back on, the assailant
ordered her to go in a direction toward her apartment and he
went down Jefferson Street. S.D. indicated that the male was
wearing jeans, a hat and a "greyish-green jacket-vest
thing." S.D. entered her apartment and directed one of
her roommates to call the police. Officer Brennan arrived
shortly thereafter and took her to the S.V.U.
Once at the S.V.U., S.D. was examined by a nurse and a Rape
Kit was prepared after which she gave Detective Kimberly
Organ a statement. Detective Organ then drove S.D. back to
Temple University and had her repeat the route she walked
home from the library and the location where the rape
occurred. Two days thereafter, detectives came to her
apartment and showed her still photographs produced from
video recordings taken the night of the incident for the
purpose of ascertaining whether she could identify [her
assailant from the video and photographs]. Upon viewing the
videos, S.D. positively identified a male depicted in them as
the person who sexually assaulted her. S.D. identified him by
his physical features and the clothing he was
Fn. After identifying Appellant in the photograph, S.D. told
her mother that she was positive that Appellant was the
person who assaulted her.
On October 9, 2015, S.D. took part in a photographic
identification session. Upon reviewing the photographs, she
selected a photograph of Appellant because the photograph of
him that she saw most resembled her assailant because the
facial hair and complexion was right. When she selected the
photograph she said that she was not one hundred percent sure
and wanted to look at additional photographs. She did not
change her mind or select another photograph upon reviewing
additional photos, and thereafter positively and with
certainty identified Appellant at his preliminary hearing and
during trial before [the trial] court as the person who raped
Dr. Ralph Riviello, a professor of emergency medicine at
Drexel University, and an affiliate of Philadelphia Sexual
Assault Response Center, reviewed medical records pertaining
to the examination of S.D. the night of the incident that was
performed by Nurse Jenika Miles. The examination of S.D.
consisted of an interview concerning the incident, a physical
examination, and the collection of biological materials from
her body, which are then turned over to the police for
further examination and testing. The physical examination of
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