Commonwealth v. Yachimowski

Appellant was convicted of Endangering the Welfare of Children by a jury for confining his young child to her bedroom by drilling two baby-gates stacked on top of each other in her open doorway. Appellant did it to keep his child safe, so he claimed. At trial, he asked that the judge charge the jury on parental justification found in 18 Pa.C.S. § 509(1). The trial court denied the request, claiming that Appellant used “confinement” and not “force”. The Superior Court disagreed and remanded for a new trial. The Court held that the actions fell within the definition of force given by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Rhodes, 510 A.2d 1217 (Pa. 1986).