Sunday, December 4, 2011

Penalty for rape and act of lasciviousness under indeterminate sentence e law - G.R. No. 193660

G.R. No. 193660

"x x x.

As regard Criminal Case No. 01-246, the Court agrees with the CA in its ruling that the crime committed was “Rape through Sexual Assault” under Article 266-A (2) of the RPC and not “Acts of Lasciviousness in relation to R.A. No. 7610.” The very definition of Rape through Sexual Assault under Article 266-A (2) or the “Anti-Rape Law of 1997,” specifically includes the insertion of any instrument into the genital orifice of another person. It has also been settled that the character of the crime is not determined by the caption or preamble of the information or by the specification of the provision of law alleged to have been violated, but by the recital of the ultimate facts and circumstances in the complaint or information.[17]

The Court, however, modifies the penalty imposed in Criminal Case No. 01-246. Under Article 266-B of the RPC, the penalty for rape by sexual assault is reclusion temporal. In Criminal Case No. 01-246, the aggravating/qualifying circumstances of minority and relationship are present, considering that the rape was committed by a parent against his minor child. The penalty of reclusion temporal ranges from twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years.

Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the maximum term of the indeterminate penalty shall be that which could be properly imposed under the RPC. Other than the aggravating/qualifying circumstances of minority and relationship which have been taken into account to raise the penalty to reclusion temporal, no other aggravating circumstance was alleged and proven. Hence, the penalty shall be imposed in its medium period, or from fourteen (14) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months. [18] On the other hand, the minimum term of the indeterminate sentence should be within the range of the penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed by the Code which is prision mayor or six (6) years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years. Thus, the Court modifies the penalty and deems as proper the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment ranging from ten (10) years of prision mayor, as minimum, to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months of reclusion temporal, as maximum.[19]

As for the civil liabilities imposed in the said case, Subesa must pay civil indemnity of P30,000.00, moral damages of P30,000.00 and exemplary damages of P30,000.00.

As for Criminal Case No. 01-248, the penalty imposed must likewise be modified. The appropriate imposable penalty should be that provided in Section 5 (b), Article III of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7610, which is reclusion temporal in its medium period which is fourteen (14) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months. As the crime was committed by the father of the offended party, the alternative circumstance of relationship should be appreciated. In crimes against chastity, such as Acts of Lasciviousness, relationship is always aggravating. Therefore, Subesa should be meted the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment ranging from thirteen (13) years, nine (9) months and eleven (11) days of reclusion temporal, as minimum, to sixteen (16) years and five (5) months and ten (10) days of reclusion temporal, as maximum.[20]

The same must be said with respect to the civil liabilities of the accused in the said case. For Acts of Lasciviousness in relation to R.A. 7610, jurisprudence[21] dictates that the following civil liabilities should be imposed: (1) a fine of P15,000.00; (2) civil indemnity of P20,000.00; (3) moral damages of P15,000.00; and (4) exemplary damages of P15,000.00.

x x x."


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