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Commonwealth v. Fischer

(1998)

Superior Court of Pennsylvania - 721 A.2d 1111

tl;dr:

A defendant's counsel is not ineffective for failing to present a mistake of fact defense in a rape case.

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ICRAIssue, Conclusion, Rule, Analysis for Commonwealth v. Fischer

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Facts & HoldingCommonwealth v. Fischer case brief facts & holding

Facts:The defendant and the victim had had consensual sex a...

Holding:The court held that an ineffective assistance of counsel claim...

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Commonwealth v. Fischer | Case Brief DeepDive
Majority opinion, author: BECK, J.:
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The court upheld charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault against a college freshman, despite his claim of consensual sex. The victim testified that the appellant used forcible compulsion and did not have her consent, while the appellant admitted to using coercive language and holding her arms above her head. The defense argued for a mistake of fact defense, but the court held that recent changes in sexual assault case law do not support it. The court defined forcible compulsion to include moral, psychological, or intellectual force, but not appeals to the victim's intellect or morals. The degree of force required for rape or IDSI is relative and depends on the facts and circumstances of the case.

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