C.C.H. v. Philadelphia Phillies, Inc.

940 A.2d 336 (2008)


T.G., a minor girl, was 11 years of age at the time she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Joseph Fabrizzio, John Scaruzzi, and Michael Ibbetson. T.G. was attending a Phillies baseball game at Veteran's Stadium with an adult family friend. T.G. was separated from her guardian and became lost inside the stadium. T.G. asserts that she then sought help from security personnel, she alleges failed to assist her in finding her guardian. She eventually encountered the individual defendants, who were then 15 and 16 years old and employed at a concession stand at the stadium. These defendants offered to help her locate a telephone but instead led her to a secluded area outside the stadium where they forcibly removed her clothes and sexually assaulted her. The parties disagree on whether intercourse occurred, but they all agree that some type of sexual contact took place. T.G. was eventually reunited with her guardian and she explained to the responding officers that she had been raped by Ds. Ds were charged as delinquents in juvenile court and two were found guilty. Ps filed a civil complaint. Ds raised the issue that T.G. was not a 'naive' girl, but was already knowledgeable about sexual matters. Scaruzzi's counsel then stated that T.G. voluntarily went with the boys outside the stadium, where the sexual contact later occurred. The court ruled that T.G.'s consent to sexual contact was relevant and could be introduced at trial as a defense to T.G.'s claims of negligence and battery involving a sexual assault. Ds testified that T.G. was more than willing and a third party witness testified that she observed T.G. approach the individual defendants and offer to perform sexual favors for them. The court refused to instruct that consent was not a defense. The verdict went to Ds and P appealed. The appeals court affirmed. Ps appealed.