523 A.2d 1140 (Pa.Super. 1987), 00296, Commonwealth v. Westcott

Docket Nº:00296 Pitts. 1986
Citation:523 A.2d 1140, 362 Pa.Super. 176
Opinion Judge:Author: Brosky
Party Name:COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellant, v. Edward C. WESTCOTT, Jr. COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania v. Edward C. WESTCOTT, Jr., Appellant. 00247 Pitts. 1986
Case Date:February 19, 1987
Court:Superior Court of Pennsylvania
 
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Page 1140

523 A.2d 1140 (Pa.Super. 1987)

362 Pa.Super. 176

COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellant,

v.

Edward C. WESTCOTT, Jr.

COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania

v.

Edward C. WESTCOTT, Jr., Appellant.

00247 Pitts. 1986

00296 Pitts. 1986

Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

February 19, 1987

Argued Sept. 11, 1986.

Reargument Denied April 24, 1987.

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[362 Pa.Super. 182] John W. Peck, Asst. Dist. Atty., Arnold, for Com., appellant in No. 247 and appellee in No. 296.

Dennis J. Clark, Pittsburgh, for appellant in No. 296 and appellee in No. 247).

Before BROSKY, ROWLEY and POPOVICH, JJ.

BROSKY, Judge.

These are cross appeals before us for review. At No. 247 Pittsburgh, 1986, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania appeals from that portion of an Order dated January 31, 1986, arresting judgment on cross-appellant's jury conviction of [362 Pa.Super. 183] involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. Edward C. Westcott, Jr. 1 cross appeals at No. 296 Pittsburgh, 1986 from the judgment of sentence following his conviction by a jury for the crime of attempted rape.

The Commonwealth presents the following issue for our review: whether cunnilingus is an act prohibited by 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3123.

Appellant raises on cross appeal the following allegations of error:

I. Whether the Commonwealth waived its right of appeal of the trial court's order granting the motion in arrest of judgment.

II. Whether, under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3101, and § 3123 and various principles of statutory construction, "involuntary deviate sexual intercourse" requires proof of penetration with a penis, and, in the absence of such proof, whether the trial court erred in granting appellant's motion in arrest of judgment.

III. Whether § 3123 is unconstitutionally vague, both on its face and as it is applied to the evidence of the instant case.

IV. Whether the admission of certain prejudicial hearsay statements by Commonwealth witnesses constitutes reversible error and entitles appellant to a new trial and whether the failure of trial counsel to object to the admission of these statements constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel and entitles appellant to a new trial.

V. Whether the court erred in certain instructions to the jury, and whether trial counsel was ineffective by failing to object to these instructions and by failing to request certain other instructions.

VI. Whether the failure of the court to instruct on lesser included offenses constitutes reversible error and entitles appellant to a new trial and whether the failure of trial counsel to request an instruction on these lesser [362 Pa.Super. 184] included offenses, or to object to the failure of the court to so instruct constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel and entitles appellant to a new trial.

VII. Whether the failure of the court to instruct the jury on the defense of renunciation under 18 Pa.C.S. § 901(c) constitutes reversible error and entitles appellant to a new trial and whether the failure of trial counsel to argue the renunciation defense, to request the renunciation instruction, and/or to object to the omission of said instruction constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel and entitles appellant to a new trial.

VIII. Whether trial counsel was ineffective for injecting into the trial the fact

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that the victim obtained a weapon during the incident.

We reverse the grant of appellant's motion to Arrest Judgment on the charge of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and affirm the judgment of sentence on the charge of attempted rape.

  1. The Commonwealth's Appeal

    Preliminarily, we note that the proper mode of attack upon the sufficiency of trial evidence is by a post-verdict motion in arrest of judgment. Commonwealth v. Taylor, 324 Pa.Super. 420, 471 A.2d 1228 (1984). An adverse ruling on this question of law permits the Commonwealth to appeal therefrom. Commonwealth v. Rawles, 501 Pa. 514, 462 A.2d 619 (1983); Commonwealth v. Driver, 343 Pa.Super. 13, 493 A.2d 778 (1985).

    The effect of a motion to arrest judgment is to admit all facts which the Commonwealth's evidence tends to prove. Thus, in reviewing this type of motion, we must consider the sufficiency of the evidence, gleaned from the entire record, in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, the verdict winner here, as well as all reasonable inferences deducible therefrom. Commonwealth v. Rawles, supra. All the evidence admitted at trial, whether rightly or wrongly, must be assessed. Commonwealth v. Maldonado, 343 Pa.Super. 154, 494 A.2d 402 (1985).

    [362 Pa.Super. 185] We address the Commonwealth's appeal of the arrest of judgment and, accordingly, consider the first three contentions of error 2 raised by appellant in this respect.

    The trial court, in its opinion accompanying the order partially arresting judgment, assumed that even if sufficient evidence existed that appellant penetrated the victim with his tongue, that conduct could not be the basis for a conviction of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse because that crime requires penetration by the penis (Opinion, pp. 13-14). Appellant argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain the charge because the specific act involved, cunnilingus, does not fall within the scope of the statute purportedly limiting deviate sexual conduct to penetration of the mouth or the anus by the penis.

    The theories postulated by the trial court and appellant are related, and we will consider them together. However, we disagree with both contentions and conclude that cunnilingus is an act proscribed by 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3123.

    The Crimes Code 3 provisions on sexual offenses are an amalgam of prior criminal law (judicial and statutory), the Model Penal Code promulgated by the American Law Institute in 1962 (Proposed Official Draft) and the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Special Commission[362 Pa.Super. 186] on Crime and Juvenile Delinquency in conjunction with the Joint State Government Commission. Comment, Revision of the Law of Sex Crimes In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, 78 Dick.L.Rev. 73, 77 (1973).

    Section 213.2 of the Proposed Official Draft of the Model Penal Code, adopted in May 1962 by the American Law Institute, was originally presented in the same form as § 207.5 of Tentative Draft No. 4 at the

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    May 1955 meeting of the Institute. The model statute reads as follows:

    § 213.2 Deviate Sexual Intercourse by Force or Imposition

    (1) By Force or Its Equivalent. A person who engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person, or who causes another to engage in deviate sexual intercourse, commits a felony of the second degree if:

    (a) he compels the other person to participate by force or by threat of imminent death, serious bodily injury, extreme pain or kidnapping, to be inflicted on anyone; or

    (b) he has substantially impaired the other person's power to appraise or control his conduct, by administering or employing without the knowledge of the other person drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance; or

    (c) the other person is unconscious; or

    (d) the other person is less than 10 years old.

    (2) By Other Imposition. A person who engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person, or who causes another to engage in deviate sexual intercourse, commits a felony of the third degree if:

    (a) he compels the other person to participate by any threat that would prevent resistance by a person of ordinary resolution; or

    (b) he knows that the other person suffers from a mental disease or defect which renders him incapable of appraising the nature of his conduct; or

    (c) he knows that the other person submits because he is unaware that a sexual act is being committed.

    [362 Pa.Super. 187] The Institute also adopted Section 213.0, relating to definitions, at its May 1962 meeting. This section states in pertinent part:

    § 213.0 Definitions*

    In this Article, unless a different meaning plainly is required:

    * * *

    (2) "Sexual intercourse" includes intercourse per os or per anum, with some penetration however slight; emission is not required;

    (3) "Deviate sexual intercourse" means sexual intercourse per os or per anum between human beings who are not husband and wife, and any form of sexual intercourse with an animal.

    In the Crimes Code of 1972, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3123 reads as follows:

    § 3123. Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse

    A person commits a felony of the first degree when he engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person:

    (1) by forcible compulsion;

    (2) by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution;

    (3) who is unconscious;

    (4) who is so mentally deranged or deficient that such person is incapable of consent; or

    (5) who is less than 16 years of age.

    Section 3101 of the Crimes Code of 1972, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3101, defines "deviate sexual intercourse" and "sexual intercourse" in the following language:

    "Deviate sexual intercourse." Sexual intercourse per os or per anus between human beings who are not husband and wife, and any form of sexual intercourse with an animal.

    "Sexual intercourse." In addition to its ordinary meaning, includes intercourse per os or per anus, with some penetration however slight; emission is not required.

    [362 Pa.Super. 188] Since neither § 3123 of the Crimes Code nor § 213.2 of the Model Code can be comprehended without resort to their respective definitions, we may liken § 3101 of the Crimes Code to § 213.0 of the...

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