People v. Pasko

Decision Date15 November 1985
Citation495 N.Y.S.2d 100,115 A.D.2d 114
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Thomas PASKO, Appellant.
CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Division

Eugene R. Spada, Loudonville, for appellant.

John B. Poersch, Schenectady County Dist. Atty. (Thomas W. Hefferon, of counsel), Schenectady, for respondent.

Before MAHONEY, P.J., and KANE, CASEY, WEISS and LEVINE, JJ.

LEVINE, Justice.

Appeal from a judgment of the County Court of Schenectady County (Stroebel, Jr., J.), rendered October 4, 1984, convicting defendant following a nonjury trial of the crimes of rape in the first degree, sodomy in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree and unlawful imprisonment in the second degree.

Defendant asserts on appeal that the evidence at the trial was insufficient to support the verdict because the victim's testimony was not credible and the medical evidence was equivocal. The victim testified that on the evening of March 21, 1984, she was stranded in a bar in the City of Schenectady when she saw defendant and other acquaintances and asked them for a ride home. She maintained that they initially rebuffed her, but that later Scott Dominy forcibly compelled her to leave and drive to another bar with them. That establishment was about to close for the evening and they were asked to leave. The victim further described that while there she was restrained by Dominy, who told bystanders she was his girlfriend and loved it when he was rough. Afterwards, she was taken to an apartment on McClellan Street in Schenectady where she was forcibly raped and sodomized by defendant and two other males, and restrained and hit with a belt. This ordeal lasted for four hours, at which point two of the men left and the third fell asleep. The victim called two friends for help and left the apartment. Shortly thereafter, she called her mother, the police and a rape crisis center. The foregoing testimony, if believed, was legally sufficient for a conviction without further corroboration (see, Penal Law § 130.16; Hechtman, Practice Commentaries McKinney's Cons.Laws of N.Y., Book 39, Penal Law § 130.16, p. 458; see also, People v. Mattison, 97 A.D.2d 621, 622, 468 N.Y.S.2d 932).

We note that where a defendant has waived a jury trial, the court sitting without the jury in a criminal case is the exclusive trier of fact (CPL 320.20). The CPL places no greater requirements on a verdict rendered by a court deciding the case without a jury than it does on a verdict rendered in a jury trial (People v. Shufford, 97 A.D.2d 777, 778, 468 N.Y.S.2d 409). Thus, we may not reject the victim's testimony unless it was impossible of belief (People v. Shedrick, 104 A.D.2d 263, 274, 482 N.Y.S.2d 939). At most, defendant's contradictory proof consisted of the testimony of witnesses who were in a position to have heard or seen the incident and who did not corroborate the victim's testimony. This clearly does not demonstrate that her story was " 'physically impossible, contrary to experience, or self-contradictory' " (id. at 274, 482 N.Y.S.2d 939, quoting People v. Stroman, 83 A.D.2d 370, 373, 444 N.Y.S.2d 463). At the first opportunity, the...

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6 cases
  • People v. Gregory ZZ
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • November 25, 1987
    ...v. Troy, 119 A.D.2d 880, 882, 500 N.Y.S.2d 436, appeal dismissed 68 N.Y.2d 998, 510 N.Y.S.2d 1030, 503 N.E.2d 126; People v. Pasko, 115 A.D.2d 114, 115, 495 N.Y.S.2d 100, lv. denied 67 N.Y.2d 887, 501 N.Y.S.2d 1039, 492 N.E.2d 1246). Nor, despite defendant's argument, were the People requir......
  • People v. Roberts
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • June 2, 1989
    ...comfortable testifying in private (see, People v. Joseph, 59 N.Y.2d 496, 498-499, 465 N.Y.S.2d 915, 452 N.E.2d 1243; People v. Pasko, 115 A.D.2d 114, 115, 495 N.Y.S.2d 100, lv. denied 67 N.Y.2d 887, 501 N.Y.S.2d 1039, 492 N.E.2d 1246). Although it would have been preferable for the court to......
  • People v. Dominy
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • January 16, 1986
    ...the instant case are identical to those raised by the codefendant in this case, Thomas Pasko, in his appeal to this court (People v. Pasko, App.Div., 495 N.Y.S.2d 100). Defendant contends that the People failed to prove that he used force in committing the crimes alleged because the only wi......
  • People v. Charlier
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • January 28, 1988
    ...However, the jury had ample opportunity to evaluate Monroe's demeanor and assess her credibility as a witness ( see, People v. Pasko, 115 A.D.2d 114, 115, 495 N.Y.S.2d 100, lv. denied 67 N.Y.2d 887, 501 N.Y.S.2d 1039, 492 N.E.2d 1246). Monroe was an articulate witness and she positively ide......
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1 books & journal articles
  • Chapter 3
    • United States
    • New York State Bar Association Foundation Evidence, Questions & Courtroom Protocols (NY)
    • Invalid date
    ...470 N.Y.S.2d 58 (4th Dep’t 1983), lv. denied, 62 N.Y.2d 623, 476 N.Y.S.2d 1037, cert. denied, 467 U.S. 1229 (1984). 6 People v. Pasko, 115 A.D.2d 114, 495 N.Y.S.2d 100 (3d Dep’t), appeal denied, 67 N.Y.2d 501 N.Y.S.2d 1039 (1985); People v. Stover, 36 A.D.3d 837, 831 N.Y.S.2d 183 (2d Dep’t)......

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