LSD+ is ad-free, with DMs, discounts, case briefs & more.
Chris22, HLS '22 |

0 0

Back to briefs

Commonwealth v. Fischer

721 A.2d 1111 (Pa. 1998)

Tags:ย Criminal law, Rape

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

1L is really, really hard. Save time, crush cold calls, and excel on exams with LSD's AI case briefs.

We simplify dense legal cases into easy-to-understand summaries, helping you master legal complexities and excel in your studies.

AI Deep DiveHighlight a legal term to see the definition

Font size -+
Level 1
Click below ๐Ÿ‘‡ to deep dive

The case involves a college freshman charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault. The victim and appellant testified that they engaged in intimate contact prior to the incident. The victim testified that the appellant forced himself on her, while the appellant claimed they engaged in "rough sex" that culminated in the victim performing fellatio on him. The court affirmed the charges after a careful review of the record and an in-depth analysis of the issue at hand. The case prompts the court to consider the law with respect to forcible compulsion and consent in sexual assault cases. Both sides presented evidence at trial, including testimony from appellant's friends, character witnesses, physical evidence, and medical testimony. The defense argued that the appellant believed his actions were consensual based on a previous encounter with the victim and his limited sexual experience. They claimed that the victim's behavior during the second encounter suggested she was enjoying it and that the appellant stopped when she said no to oral sex. Therefore, the defense argued that the appellant's actions were not forcible and did not constitute compulsion.

The defendant is appealing his conviction and arguing that his trial counsel was ineffective for not requesting a jury charge on the defense of mistake of fact. The court correctly refused to give a jury instruction that a defendant's belief in consent could be a defense to the crime of rape. The court acknowledges the complexity of issues surrounding consent and forcible compulsion in sexual assault cases and will address the defendant's arguments. The court emphasizes that the degree of force required for rape or IDSI depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. The legislature amended the law after the Commonwealth v. Berkowitz case, which clarified that the element of forcible compulsion means more than just a lack of consent.

The appellant argues that a mistake of fact jury instruction should be given in sexual assault cases where a defense of mistaken belief regarding consent is raised. The court cannot adopt this principle due to binding precedent in Williams, but the Subcommittee suggests recognizing the defense and instructing the jury on when it may preclude conduct from being considered forcible compulsion. However, the court cannot grant relief as it raises an ineffective assistance of counsel claim. The judgment of sentence is affirmed.

LSD+ is ad-free, with DMs, discounts, case briefs & more.

IRACIssue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion

๐Ÿคฏ High points ๐ŸคฏKey points contributed by students on LSD

LSD+ is ad-free, with DMs, discounts, case briefs & more.

Facts & Holding

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

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

LSD+ is ad-free, with DMs, discounts, case briefs & more.

Commonwealth v. Fischer

Chat for Commonwealth v. Fischer
๐Ÿ‘ Chat vibe: 0 ๐Ÿ‘Ž
Help us make LSD better!
Tell us what's important to you
LSD+ is ad-free, with DMs, discounts, case briefs & more.