In re D.P., 060220 PASUP, 408 WDA 2019

Docket Nº:408 WDA 2019
Opinion Judge:SHOGAN, J.
Party Name:IN THE INTEREST OF: D.P., A MINOR APPEAL OF: D.P., A MINOR
Judge Panel:BEFORE: SHOGAN, J., OLSON, J., and FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E.
Case Date:June 02, 2020
Court:Superior Court of Pennsylvania
 
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2020 PA Super 131

IN THE INTEREST OF: D.P., A MINOR

APPEAL OF: D.P., A MINOR

No. 408 WDA 2019

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

June 2, 2020

Appeal from the Order Dated January 8, 2019 In the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County Juvenile Division at No(s): CP-02-JV-0001199-2018

BEFORE: SHOGAN, J., OLSON, J., and FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E.

OPINION

SHOGAN, J.

Appellant, D.P., appeals from the January 8, 2019[1] dispositional order entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, following his adjudication of delinquency for indecent assault of a person less than thirteen years old.2 The order became final on January 22, 2019, when the post-disposition motion to reconsider was denied. After careful review, we affirm.

Appellant was charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault of a child, and indecent assault of a child, graded as a third-degree felony, [3] stemming from an incident between Appellant, then fifteen years old, and M.M., his nine-year-old cousin, occurring at the home of A.P. on March 17, 2018. A.P. is M.M.'s aunt and Appellant's biological aunt and adoptive mother. N.T., 10/11/18, at 45, 101.

After a day of shopping, M.M. and D.M., M.M.'s half-brother, spent the night at A.P.'s house. N.T., 10/11/18, at 97-98. M.M. testified that D.M. and Appellant came into the bedroom where she was sleeping, and Appellant tried to remove her pants. Although M.M. told Appellant to stop, Appellant continued pulling down her pants. Id. at 46. Appellant slapped M.M. in the face with his hand and with his "private part," and touched M.M.'s "middle part," scratching her. Id. at 47-48. M.M. also observed Appellant "doing something to her brother." Id. at 47. Appellant then tried to put his "private part" in M.M.'s "hole," but she pushed him away. Id. at 49. Appellant and D.M. left the room when the children heard A.P. get out of bed. Id.

The next day, M.M. told Janet Lamb, a family friend, that Appellant had hurt her and described the specifics of the assault. N.T., 10/11/18, at 23-26. Ms. Lamb relayed the information to M.M.'s father, R.M. Id. at 27. Ms. Lamb and Nicole Bender, R.M.'s fiancé, checked M.M. and observed "obvious scratch marks" or a "bite mark" on her vagina. Id. at 27-29.

Approximately two days later, the police became involved after M.M. and R.M. disclosed the assault to a school counselor. N.T., 10/11/18, at 28- 29. On the responding officers' recommendation, R.M. and Ms. Bender took M.M. to Pittsburgh Children's Hospital. Id. at 29. The Commonwealth and defense counsel stipulated that M.M. was examined by Dr. Adelaide Eichman, who reported that M.M. had a "very small abrasion on her left outer labia minora." Id. at 68.

The defense presented three witnesses at the October 11, 2018 adjudicatory hearing. D.M. testified that neither he nor Appellant went into M.M.'s bedroom on the night in question, and he denied that he saw Appellant doing anything inappropriate to his sister. N.T., 10/11/18, at 75-77. A.P. also testified and maintained that she would hear if any of the children got up and left their room and stated that she did not hear any such noises that night. Id. at 99-100. Appellant denied that he was in M.M.'s room and molested her on March 17, 2018, or on any other occasion. Id. at 110-112.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court adjudicated Appellant delinquent of indecent assault of a child under thirteen, graded as a third-degree felony. At the dispositional hearing on January 8, 2019, the trial court ordered that Appellant be detained at the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center, pending placement at Harbor Creek Youth Services for treatment, supervision, and rehabilitation. Dispositional Order, 1/8/19, at unnumbered 1. After

Appellant's motion for reconsideration of the dispositional order was...

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