Criminal Law

People v. Sandy Domingo G.R. No. 225743, June 7, 2017 Forcible Abduction with Rape, Sweetheart Defense

FACTS:

On 24 January 2004, at around 8:00 in the evening, private complainant AAA, a saleslady in a public market, was waiting for her cousin when Appellant, who worked in a fish stall in the market, approached her and offered to take her to her aunt’s house where she resided. AAA agreed since her cousin was not yet there to fetch her.

The two of them had just boarded a tricycle when appellant brought out a bladed weapon and poked the same on AAA’s waist. 

Appellant and AAA alighted to a different place. Appellant then ordered AAA to enter a house. Once inside, and still holding a knife and poking it against AAA, appellant once again ordered AAA to enter in a room where he had carnal knowledge of her against her will. 

At 3:00 in the morning, appellant told AAA that he will let her go home if she will not tell anybody what happened. AAA went home and told her Aunt what happened. Thereafter, they went to the police station to report the incident. 

An Information was filed charging appellant with the crime of Forcible Abduction with Rape.

Appellant on the other hand, claimed that AAA was his girlfriend.

The RTC rendered judgment finding the accused-appellant guilty as charged.

On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC Decision.

ISSUE:

Whether the complex crime of forcible abduction with rape committed.

RULING:

We affirm the CA’s decision with modification of the characterization of the crime committed.

Under Article 342 of the Revised Penal Code, the elements of forcible abduction are: 

(1) the taking of a woman against her will; and 

(2) with lewd designs. 

The crime of forcible abduction with rape is a complex crime that occurs when the abductor has carnal knowledge of the abducted woman under the following circumstances: 

(1) by using force or intimidation; 

(2) when the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and 

(3) when the woman is under 12 years of age or is demented.

Although the elements of forcible abduction obtained, the appellant should be convicted only of rape. His forcible abduction of AAA was absorbed by the rape considering that his real objective in abducting her was to commit the rape.

Where the main objective of the culprit for the abduction of the victim of rape was to have carnal knowledge of her, he could be convicted only of rape.

Anent the sweetheart defense of the appellant, the CA and the trial court justly rejected it. Such defense, being uncorroborated and self-serving, deserved scant consideration. Nonetheless, that the appellant and the victim had been sweethearts was no excuse in the eyes of the law for him to employ force and intimidation in gratifying his carnal desires. 

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