People of the Philippines vs Soria
GR No. 179031 November 14, 2012
Facts: A complaint for rape was filed against the respondent for allegedly raping her minor daughter, AAA. The information indicated the offense as rape by sexual intercourse as defined by the Revised Penal Code. However, respondent as his defense invoked that as the father of the child he will not be able to do the imputed act and the case was tainted with bad faith on the part of the victim’s mother not having a good relationship with the respondent. During the course of the proceedings and examination of the witness, it was found out that the identification of the victim by the respondent was in reliance to her brother’s statement that he saw that it was their father who committed the act. The medico legal was also presented with the findings that the hymen of the victim is intact. These statements were invoked by the defense to question the findings of the trial court of the offense charged which was later affirmed by the appellate court, hence, this appeal.
Issue: Whether or not the offense was properly charged.
Held: No. The following are the elements of rape by sexual assault:
(1) That the offender commits an act of sexual assault;
(2) That the act of sexual assault is committed by any of the following means:
(a) By inserting his penis into another person’s mouth or anal orifice; or
(b) By inserting any instrument or object into the genital or anal orifice of another person;
(3) That the act of sexual assault is accomplished under any of the following circumstances:
(a) By using force and intimidation;
(b) When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; or
(c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; or
(d) When the woman is under 12 years of age or demented.
In the instant case, it was clearly established that appellant committed an act of sexual assault on “AAA” by inserting an instrument or object into her genital. We find it inconsequential that “AAA” could not specifically identify the particular instrument or object that was inserted into her genital. What is important and relevant is that indeed something was inserted into her vagina. To require “AAA” to identify the instrument or object that was inserted into her vagina would be contrary to the fundamental tenets of due process. It would be akin to requiring “AAA” to establish something that is not even required by law. [Moreover, it might create problems later on in the application of the law if the victim is blind or otherwise unconscious.] Moreover, the prosecution satisfactorily established that appellant accomplished the act of sexual assault through his moral ascendancy and influence over “AAA” which substituted for violence and intimidation. Thus, there is no doubt that appellant raped “AAA” by sexual assault.
The failure of “AAA” to mention that her panty was removed prior to the rape does not preclude sexual assault. We cannot likewise give credence to the assertion of appellant that the crime of rape was negated by the medical findings of an intact hymen or absence of lacerations in the vagina of “AAA”. Hymenal rupture, vaginal laceration or genital injury is not indispensable because the same is not an element of the crime of rape. “An intact hymen does not negate a finding that the victim was raped.” Here, the finding of reddish discoloration of the hymen of “AAA” during her medical examination and the intense pain she felt in her vagina during and after the sexual assault sufficiently corroborated her testimony that she was raped.
Likewise undeserving of credence is appellant’s contention that his wife merely instigated “AAA” to file the charge of rape against him in retaliation for his having confronted her about her illicit affair with another man. This imputation of ill motive is flimsy considering that it is unnatural for appellant’s wife to stoop so low as to subject her own daughter to the hardships and shame concomitant with a prosecution for rape, just to assuage her hurt feelings. It is also improbable for appellant’s wife to have dared encourage their daughter “AAA” to publicly expose the dishonor of the family unless the rape was indeed committed.