PEOPLE v. EFREN VALEZ G.R. No. 136738. March 12, 2001.
April 11, 2011
PEOPLE v. EFREN VALEZ
G.R. No. 136738. March 12, 2001.
Accused was found guilty of raping a 12-yr old girl, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of death. In the Information that was filed, it was indicated that there was abuse of confidence and trust, the accused being the husband of complainant’s half-sister.
Accused-appellant maintains that he should only be convicted for acts of lasciviousness because there was no sexual intercourse. The SC held that it is well-settled that where the accused tried to insert his penis into his victim’s vagina, that was all that was necessary to commit consummated rape. Full penetration of the victim’s genital organ is not required in order to sustain a conviction for rape. In fact, so long as there was an attempt to insert, even without rupture of the hymen, rape is considered to have already been consummated. In this case, undoubtedly, there is no issue as to whether or not there was insertion or penetration which calls for a fine distinction between mere brushing or “epidermal contact” and actual touching or sliding into the female organ as enunciated in the case of People v. Campuhan.
The SC found the accused guilty, but reduced the penalty to reclusion perpetua. Minority and relationship under the first paragraph are special qualifying circumstances which qualify rape to warrant the mandatory penalty of death. As such, they must both be specifically pleaded in the Information and proven during trial. These two circumstances, minority and relationship, must concur; otherwise, if only one is proven during trial, even if the Information alleged both, the death penalty cannot be imposed. And, as special qualifying circumstances, the same must be proven beyond reasonable doubt as the crime itself.
In the case under review, the SC found that evidence is wanting as to the special qualifying circumstance of minority. The only proof as to the minority of the complainant is her testimony during direct examination that she was 13 years old and a Grade VI student. No other proof, was presented by the prosecution to establish complainant’s minority at the time of the incident. Even complainant’s mother failed to testify as to her daughter’s age on the witness stand.
As to filiation, the Court notes that the circumstance of relationship by affinity within the third civil degree was properly alleged in the Information which stated that accused-appellant “is the husband of complainant’s half-sister and likewise duly proven during trial. Complainant herself declared that accused-appellant was the husband of her elder sister. The mother of the complainant and mother in-law of the accused also testified that accused-appellant is his son-in-law. Moreover, the accused himself admitted that the victim is his sister-in-law. This notwithstanding, for failure of the prosecution to establish minority by proof beyond reasonable doubt, the death penalty cannot be imposed.
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