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State v. Upton

Supreme Court of Arizona

November 25, 1946

STATE
v.
UPTON

Appeal from Superior Court, Maricopa County; James A. Walsh, Judge.

Robert Upton was convicted of statutory rape upon a girl 15 years of age, and he appeals.

Judgment affirmed.

Louis B. Whitney and Fred A. Ironside, Jr., both of Phoenix, for appellant.

John L. Sullivan, Atty. Gen., and William P. Mahoney, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

Stanford, Chief Justice. La Prade and Morgan, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Stanford, Chief Justice.

Before we offer the statement of facts it is proper that we state that counsel who appeared in this court to assist this appellant [65 Ariz. 94] did not represent defendant in the trial court.

The appellant herein, hereinafter referred to as defendant, was charged in the superior court with the crime of statutory rape, a felony, upon a girl fifteen years of age. Defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge. A jury returned a verdict of guilty. Thereafter defendant's motion for new trial to set aside the verdict was denied.

The act complained of was claimed to have been committed between four and four thirty o'clock on the morning of June 3, 1945, in the trailer of the defendant, at which place the prosecutrix lived with the defendant and his wife for some four weeks before the incident in question. During the night of June 2nd the prosecutrix went out on a party that lasted through June 2nd and ended in the early morning of June 3, 1945. Included in the party were the appellant, Robert Upton, and his wife and others. The group visited several night spots during the evening. The party broke up shortly after one o'clock on the morning of June 3rd. The prosecutrix slept on an army cot and it was procured and placed in the trailer isle a few feet from the davenport where Mr. and Mrs. Upton slept. The prosecutrix and Gertrude Upton, the wife of defendant, returned to the trailer and went to bed, the defendant having remained at Kenneth Poor's place near by. The prosecutrix fell asleep and the next thing she remembered was a vivid dream of "having pains

Page 623

in my stomach." Because of certain pains she was having she was awakened to find defendant on top of her. The prosecutrix pushed defendant back and a discussion followed during which time defendant pleaded with her not to mention the incident to his wife, who was sleeping one to two feet away and not awakened by the noise or lack of it. Prosecutrix thereafter went to the bathroom some distance away and found blood on a piece of toilet tissue which she used. She returned to the trailer, dressed and hurriedly went to the apartment of her father and stepmother and related to them the story. The father and his wife went promptly to the trailer where they found the lights on but Upton was not there and Gertrude Upton, his wife, was still asleep.

Defendant contended that he never entered the trailer after leaving the home of Kenneth Poor early in the morning of June 3rd, but instead went directly to his car and drove off to a brother's home in order to promote a fishing party.

The three assignments presented by defendant are in substance (1) the evidence was insufficient to justify conviction; (2) the evidence disclosed by the uncorroborated testimony of prosecutrix as to the commission of the crime was inherently impossible, improbable and incredible; (3) the defendant did not have a ...


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