Commonwealth v. Shaw

Decision Date15 January 1883
Citation134 Mass. 221
PartiesCommonwealth v. Emory W. Shaw
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court

Norfolk. Indictment for an assault upon a female child under the age of ten years, with intent to carnally know and abuse her.

At the trial in the Superior Court, before Aldrich, J., the evidence introduced by the government tended to prove that the child assaulted was thrown down upon her hands and knees on the floor; that the defendant, while the child was in that position, attempted to have carnal knowledge of her body; and that her private parts were then and there lacerated by the defendant, and blood caused to flow therefrom.

The defendant introduced evidence tending to prove that it was physically impossible for him to have had carnal knowledge of the child in the position described; and asked the judge to rule that, "if from the position of the child it was physically impossible for the defendant to ravish her, he cannot be convicted of an assault with intent to carnally know and abuse her." The judge declined so to rule; but ruled that, if the defendant assaulted the child with intent carnally to know and ravish her, the jury would be authorized to convict him, although he might have found it, in making the attempt, physically impossible to consummate his intent by actual sexual intercourse with the body of the child in the position before described.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty; and the defendant alleged exceptions.

Exceptions overruled.

J. L. Eldridge, for the defendant.

G. Marston, Attorney General, for the Commonwealth.

Field & W. Allen, JJ., absent.

OPINION

By the Court. The defendant, having assaulted the child with the intent to carnally know and abuse her, was properly convicted, although in his assault he threw her into such a position that it was impossible for him to accomplish his purpose of ravishing her. The fact that he failed in his attempt is no defence. The instructions were right.

Exceptions overruled.

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6 cases
  • Com. v. Nickerson
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • February 24, 1983
    ...beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant possessed the intent to rape the victim at the time that he shot her. Commonwealth v. Shaw, 134 Mass. 221, 221-222 (1883) (that defendant failed in attempt to rape is no defense to indictment charging assault with intent to abuse carnally). See C......
  • Preddy v. Commonwealth
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court
    • January 14, 1946
    ...and his impotency has no bearing on the case except possibly negativing the specific intention to accomplish penetration." In Commonwealth v. Shaw, 134 Mass. 221, the court approved this instruction: "If the defendant assaulted the child with intent carnally to know and ravish her, the jury......
  • State v. Olsen
    • United States
    • Oregon Supreme Court
    • February 9, 1932
    ...upon exactly the same footing as would a stranger. We are in complete accord with the holding in this case. In the case of Commonwealth v. Shaw, 134 Mass. 221, we taught that it is no defense to an indictment for an assault upon a child with intent carnally to know and abuse her, that the d......
  • Com. v. Roosnell
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • November 22, 1886
    ...§ 1066; Wilder v. Cowles, 100 Mass. 489. E.J. Sherman, Atty. Gen., for the Commonwealth, cited Com. v. Thompson, 116 Mass. 346; Com. v. Shaw, 134 Mass. 221; c. 202, § 27; Com. v. Sugland, 4 Gray, 7. OPINION C. ALLEN, J. The chief argument for the defendant is that an indictment for an assau......
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