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State v. Rusk

Maryland Court of Appeals
 424 A.2d 720 (1981)


Facts

Edward Rusk (defendant) was charged with second-degree rape of Pat, whom he met at a bar. At trial, the testimony of Rusk and Pat differed greatly. Pat testified that she and her friend Terry were at a bar when Rusk came up and said “hello.” Terry responded, “Hi, Eddie.” After talking for a while, Pat said she needed to go home and Rusk asked for a ride back to his apartment. Pat agreed because she believed Terry knew Rusk. On the way to her car, Pat told Rusk, “I’m just giving you a ride home,” and nothing else. After reaching Rusk’s apartment, which was in an unfamiliar part of town for Pat, Rusk asked her to come up to his apartment. Pat declined, but Rusk took her keys out of the ignition and kept them. At that point, Pat became scared and unsure of what to do, was afraid of the way Rusk was looking at her, so she complied with Rusk’s request. Once inside his one-room apartment, Rusk told Pat to sit down while he left for a short period of time, during which, Pat did not make any noise and did not attempt to leave. When Rusk returned, he sat on the bed and pulled Pat by her arms to the bed and began to undress her. After they both were undressed, Pat testified that she was very scared and told Rusk, “[I]f I do what you want, will you let me go without killing me?” Pat said that Rusk answered “yes” and then she began to cry. At that point, Pat testified that Rusk placed his hands around her throat and began to lightly choke her. After they had sexual intercourse, Rusk gave Pat her car keys back and she left after agreeing to see Rusk again sometime. Pat reported the incident shortly thereafter. Rusk testified that Pat voluntarily turned her car engine off and willingly came into Rusk’s apartment where they consensually had sexual intercourse. Rusk denied choking Pat or using any other force or threats of force to get Pat to have intercourse with him. Rusk was convicted by jury of second-degree rape and he appealed. The court of special appeals, sitting en banc, reversed, concluding that insufficient evidence of Rusk’s guilt had been shown. The Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari to consider whether the court of special appeals correctly applied the law.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Murphy, C.J.)

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Dissent (Cole, J.)

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