Taylor v. State

Decision Date17 June 1887
Citation111 Ind. 279,12 N.E. 400
PartiesTaylor v. State.
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Appeal from circuit court, Knox county.

Cullop & Shaw, for appellant. J. C. Adams and The Attorney General, for the State.

Elliott, J.

The appellant was convicted of the crime of rape upon the person of Jane Taylor, a child nine years of age. It is contended by his counsel that the verdict is not supported because there is no evidence of penetration.

Our statute provides that “in prosecution for rape, proof of penetration shall be sufficient evidence of the commission of the offense.” Rev. St. 1881, § 1806. Under this statute, however it may have been at common law, the slightest penetration of the genital organ of the male into that of the female is sufficient, the other elements of the crime being present, to establish guilt. Brauer v. State, 25 Wis. 413;State v. Tarr, 28 Iowa, 397; Bish. St. Crimes, § 488. The rule prescribed by our statute is a sound one, and its efficiency should not be impaired by limiting its scope and effect. There was much reason for the censure so often passed upon the rule declared by some of the common-law judges. In commenting upon some of the later cases the authors of a recent work on medical jurisprudence jointly say: “In our opinion this is not only good law, but common sense. That a scoundrel who attempts the chastity of a child or a young girl should escape punishment merely because her youth, or the imperfect development or narrowness of the parts, prevents his fully consummating the crime, appears to us as undesirable as it would be unjust.” Woodman & T. For. Med. 640. “The jury,” says Mr. Bishop, “may infer the penetration from circumstances, without direct proof.” Bish. St. Crimes, § 488. Discussing the same question, the supreme court of Iowa said: “Nor is the prosecution bound to show the fact of actual penetration by the prosecutrix herself.” State v. Tarr, supra.

But it is unnecessary to multiply authorities, for it is clear upon principle that penetration, like any other element of crime, may be established by circumstantial evidence. In this case the circumstances prove the fact beyond doubt. The intent of the accused is fully proved, and his acts show that he did all in his power to accomplish his wicked design. That the act was not fully consummated was, it is clearly inferable, owing to the tender age of the victim of his lust. She was in his power, he was in a situation to do all that the structure of...

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12 cases
  • State v. Carnagy
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • October 20, 1898
    ... ... injured party alone, as penetration, like any other element ... of crime, may be established by circumstantial evidence ... State v. Tarr, 28 Iowa 397; State v ... Watson, 81 Iowa 380, 46 N.W. 868; Brauer v ... State, 25 Wis. 413; Taylor v. State, 111 Ind ... 279 (12 N.E. 400); State v. Depoister, 21 Nev. 107 ... (25 P. 1000). Proof of the slightest penetration is ... sufficient to sustain the charge of rape. See cases above ... cited, and also State v. Hargrave, 65 N.C. 466; ... People v. Crowley, 102 N.Y. 234 (6 N.E. 384); ... ...
  • State v. Carnagy
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • October 20, 1898
    ...evidence. State v. Tarr, 28 Iowa, 397;State v. Watson, 81 Iowa, 389. 46 N. W. 868;Brauer v. State, 25 Wis. 413;Taylor v. State, 111 Ind. 279, 12 N. E. 400;State v. Depoister, 25 Pac. 1000, 21 Nev. 107. Proof of the slightest penetration is sufficient to sustain the charge of rape. See cases......
  • Holguin v. State, 170S14
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • May 5, 1971
    ...that he 'got on top of her' and that he 'got a little bit in.' Weaver v. State (1963), 243 Ind. 560, 187 N.E.2d 485; Taylor v. State (1887), 111 Ind. 279, 12 N.E. 400. Likewise, there was sufficient evidence that the assailants were armed with a gun and that Ceasar Holguin did hold the gun ......
  • Allbritten v. State, 773S141
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • October 28, 1974
    ...rape proof of the slightest degree of penetration is sufficient. Mooney v. State, (1959) 246 Ind. 570, 207 N.E.2d 623; Taylor v. State, (1887) 111 Ind. 279, 12 N.E. 400. Thus, it is sufficient here to recite that a post-abduction medical examination of the victim revealed 'considerable inju......
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