Commonwealth v. Piccerillo

Decision Date29 June 1926
Citation256 Mass. 487,152 N.E. 746
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH v. PICCERILLO.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Exceptions from Superior Criminal Court, Essex County; Joseph Walsh, Judge.

Nicola Piccerillo was convicted of statutory rape, and he excepts. Exceptions overruled.

W. G. Clark, Dist. Atty., of Gloucester, and E. F. Flynn, Asst. Dist. Atty., of Lynn, for the Commonwealth.

Donnell, O'Brien & Powell, of Peabody, for defendant.

CROSBY, J.

The defendant was tried and convicted upon an indictment which charged that on May 28, 1924, at Lawrence in the county of Essex he made an assault upon Cecil Desrocher, a female child under the age of sixteen years with intent unlawfully and carnally to know and abuse her, and that he did so unlawfully and carnally know and abuse her. The case is before this court upon exceptions to the admission and exclusion of evidence, and to the refusal of the trial judge to give certain instructions.

Cecil Desrocher, called as a witness by the commonwealth, testified in substance that she was thirteen years old on April 2, 1924, and lived with her parents; that she was a pupil in the Cross Street school at Lawrence; that she first met the defendant in March, 1924, and went to ride with him in an automobile; that thereafter she went to ride with him on several occasions and that each time they stopped at a place on a street called Lovers' Lane; that some time during the last week in May she went with him to the same place, and that he there had sexual intercourse with her; that about two weeks before this time she went with him to a place in the state of New Hampshire where he had sexual intercourse with her, and that before this time on two other occasions he had sexual intercourse with her at the same place in New Hampshire. The witness was asked if she indicated the place on Lovers' Lane where the defendant took her (and which she had previously described) to any one; she was also asked, ‘And to whom did you indicate it?’ Her answer was, to ‘Miss Herlihy and Mr. Bolton.’ These persons were members of the police department of the city of Lawrence. The defendant's exception to the admission of this evidence cannot be sustained. The evidence was admissible to identify the place referred to by the witness and to show that the court had jurisdiction. Commonwealth v. Piper, 120 Mass. 185, 187.

The testimony of the witness that the first time she went out riding with the defendant he kissed her was competent. In prosecutions involving unlawful sexual intercourse, testimony of undue familiarity before and after the alleged criminal intimacy is admissible to show the adulterous disposition of the parties. Such testimony is admissible to render it not improbable that the act might have occurred. Thayer v. Thayer, 101 Mass. 111, 100 Am. Dec. 110;Beers v. Jackman, 103 Mass. 192;Commonwealth v. Bemis, 242 Mass. 582, 136 N. E. 597.

[3] The evidence of criminal intimacy between the defendant and the Desrocher girl in the state of New Hampshire was admissible as showing an adulterous disposition on the part of the defendant, and an inclination and disposition of the defendant to commit the act charged in the indictment. Commonwealth v. Bemis, supra. The fact that it related to acts of sexual intercourse between these parties in New Hampshire is no objection to its competency to show the criminal disposition of the defendant to commit the crime charged. Thayer v. Thayer, supra. See, also, Commonwealth v. Nichols, 114 Mass. 285, 19 Am. Rep. 346.

The witness was asked on cross-emamination, ‘You never found your mother to be cruel to you in your life, did you?’ That question was properly excluded. It does not appear what the...

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17 cases
  • Commonwealth v. Bartolini
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • March 1, 1938
    ...v. Holmes, 157 Mass. 233, 32 N.E. 6,34 Am.St.Rep. 270;Commonwealth v. Bemis, 242 Mass. 582, 585, 136 N.E. 597;Commonwealth v. Piccerillo, 256 Mass. 487, 489, 152 N.E. 746; Compare Commonwealth v. Jackson, 132 Mass. 16;Commonwealth v. Kosior, 280 Mass. 418, 423, 182 N.E. 852. 5. A witness ca......
  • Com. v. Hanlon
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • May 21, 1998
    ...be admitted to corroborate the victim's testimony, as it tends to "show the ... disposition of the parties," Commonwealth v. Piccerillo, 256 Mass. 487, 489, 152 N.E. 746 (1926), thus "render[ing] it not improbable that the act might have occurred." Ibid., quoted by Commonwealth v. King, sup......
  • Com. v. King
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • October 13, 1982
    ...contacts between the parties is admissible to "render it not improbable that the act might have occurred." Commonwealth v. Piccerillo, 256 Mass. 487, 489, 152 N.E. 746 (1926). In Commonwealth v. Machado, 339 Mass. 713, 714-715, 162 N.E.2d 71 (1959), we held that testimony that the defendant......
  • Com. v. Gallant
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • November 2, 1977
    ...decisions, "unlawful sexual intercourse" is used synonymously with "unlawful carnal knowledge." E. g., Commonwealth v. Piccerillo, 256 Mass. 487, 489, 152 N.E. 746 (1926).8 "But from very early times, in the law, as in common speech, the meaning of the words 'carnal knowledge' of a woman by......
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