People v. Struts

CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division
Citation721 N.Y.S.2d 425
Parties(A.D. 3 Dept. 2001) THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Appellant, v. YEVGENIY STRUTS, Respondent. 12418 Calendar Date:
Decision Date16 January 2001

Page 425

721 N.Y.S.2d 425 (A.D. 3 Dept. 2001)
Calendar Date: January 16, 2001
Decided and Entered: March 1, 2001

Page 426

Paul A. Clyne, District Attorney (Kimberly A. Mariani of counsel), Albany, for appellant.

De Lorenzo, Pasquariello & Weiskopf P.C. (John R. Polster of counsel), Schenectady, for respondent.

Before: Cardona, P.J., Mercure, Peters, Spain and Carpinello, JJ.

Cardona, P.J.

Appeal from an order of the County Court of Albany County (Rosen, J.), entered August 24, 1999, which granted defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment.

Defendant was indicted on two counts of rape in the third degree, in violation of Penal Law § 130.25 (2), based on two separate instances of alleged sexual intercourse with a female victim immediately before and after her sixteenth birthday. As pertinent to this case, the crime of rape in the third degree is perpetrated when a defendant, "[b]eing twenty-one years old or more * * * engages in sexual intercourse with another person to whom the actor is not married [and who is] less than seventeen years old" (Penal Law § 130.25 [2] [emphasis supplied]). Significantly, neither count of the indictment alleges that defendant and the victim were not married to each other as required by the statute. Defendant moved to dismiss both counts of the indictment based on, inter alia, the People's failure to allege that the victim was not defendant's wife. County Court granted that motion and the People appeal.

We affirm. An indictment must contain a factual allegation of every element of a crime charged (CPL 200.50 [7]) and we have held that "'[i]t is bright line law that if the offense charged has an exception contained within the statute, the indictment must contain an allegation that defendant's conduct does not come within the reach of the exception'" (People v Hogabone, ___ A.D.2d ___, ___, 716 N.Y.S.2d 836, 837, quoting People v Bingham, 263 A.D.2d 611, 611, lv denied 93 N.Y.2d 1014; see, People v Kohut, 30 N.Y.2d 183, 187). Since both counts of the indictment herein fail to state that defendant's alleged conduct does not come within the exception for married couples, County Court properly dismissed the indictment as facially invalid. Thus, even if it could be successfully argued that evidence of marital status was presented to the Grand Jury, that proof would...

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