FAHY, Senior Circuit Judge:
The appeal is from his conviction of rape for which appellant was sentenced in 1963 to imprisonment of ten to thirty years. No appeal was taken from the judgment then entered. Thereafter, however, in Jenkins v. United States, 130 U.S.App.D.C. 248, 399 F.2d 981 (1968), for reasons there stated this court directed the District Court to vacate the sentence so that an appeal could be taken after resentencing if the trial court found an appealable non-frivolous issue. The District Court vacated the sentence, a new sentence of six to eighteen years was imposed, and this appeal taken. We affirm.
The evidence shows without dispute that one evening in a Washington neighborhood the complaining witness was followed by a young man for some little distance, was overtaken, dragged into an alley, from the alley into a basement and was there sexually assaulted. The disputed factual issue is whether appellant was the man. The complaining witness testified that he was. She said she was able to see his face at the time, that there was a light over the basement door, and she had a good look at him when he dragged her into the basement and when he was having intercourse with her.
The investigation leading to the identification of appellant prior to trial was careful. The victim gave the police a description of her attacker as about 5'7" tall, of medium build, and wearing a beige jacket — a windbreaker with elastic in the waist. Pictures shown to her by one of the detectives resulted in no identification.
In the factual situation above outlined we cannot accept appellant's contention that his motion for judgment of acquittal, stated on appeal to rest upon inadequate corroboration of the complaining witness's identifying testimony, should have been granted.
While it is a well established general rule in this jurisdiction that for conviction of a sex offense the testimony of the victim must be corroborated both as to the corpus delicti and the identity of the accused,
Again, in United States v. Terry, 137 U.S.App.D.C. 267, 273, 422 F.2d 704, 710 (1970), we noted in terms fully applicable to this appeal:
In Terry we continued: "this is an appropriate instance for relaxation of the normally rigid corroboration standards." And more recently in Carter v. United States, 138 U.S.App.D.C. 349, 427 F.2d 619 (1970), we repeated: "the facts of a particular case may be such that a convincing identification by the complaining witness based upon adequate opportunity to observe need not be further corroborated."
Applying these principles to the evidence we hold that the trial court did not err in submitting the factual issue of identification to the jury.
It is also contended that the court erred in failing explicitly to instruct the jury of the necessity of corroboration of the complaining witness's identification. In the first place, as we have pointed out, the evidence of identification was strong enough without further corroboration. When we add that the identity of the man was the only critical issue of fact, and this was understood by the jury, the reference in the court's charge to the necessity for "corroboration of her testimony * * * according to the rule prevailing in the District of Columbia," though stated in a context which called the jury's attention to the commission of the crime rather than to who committed it, cannot reasonably be thought to have misled the jury. This appraisal of the situation is supported by the closing argument of defense counsel. He pointed out that the defense sought to prove appellant was not the person who committed the assault if it occurred. He stated the situation as follows:
We find no reversible error in the omission of greater explicitness in the charge as to the need of corroboration of the identification testimony.
At trial the complaining witness was shown a beige jacket which she explained in some detail was like the one her attacker wore. Possession of the jacket had been obtained by a search warrant for the property of appellant while he was in jail. The officer who obtained the warrant testified the jacket was in the custody of the Superintendent of the jail and was taken from appellant's property. This witness also identified the jacket and stated that he had shown it to the complaining witness, who had said it was similar to the one the "subject was wearing that night." When the above testimony was given the jacket was not offered in evidence. Later during the trial it was offered. Defense counsel then objected that the jacket came into the possession of the Government too long after the offense. Upon this objection being made the offer was withdrawn.
No objection was made, however, to the earlier testimony about the jacket. On appeal it is contended for the first time that the court sua sponte should have stricken it. The failure of the court to do so was not plain error affecting a substantial right. Had the objection been made it is by no means certain the connection of the jacket with appellant would not have satisfied the court of the admissibility of the jacket and of the testimony about it. The court never ruled on either of these matters. The offer of the jacket was simply withdrawn some time after the testimony about it had been given.
On cross-examination of the complaining witness it was developed that on the day after the attack she gave a written statement to the police in which she described her assailant, and that some time later, after she had identified
(A) Nor do we find plain error in the omission of the trial court sua sponte to intervene on the basis of the statement of the prosecutor in summation that the complaining witness had not made any prior inconsistent statement. In the context in which it appears in the transcript the argument
(B) It is contended further that there was prejudicial error, though again with no reservation of the point during trial, in the prosecution's suggestion in closing argument that if there had been anything different in the second statement it would have been used by the defense.
121 U.S.App.D.C. at 21, 347 F.2d at 805.
As we did not in Johnson, so we do not in this case, approve the argument made. The remarks in the present case do not, however, fall within the ruling in Johnson not only because of the difference in the scope of the argument there, but also because of the difference in the manner in which the statements had come to the attention of the jury, in our case, as we have seen, consequent upon defense counsel's suggestion in the presence of the jury that the later statement was inconsistent with the earlier. It should also be noted that our opinion in Johnson was issued long after the trial of this case.
(C) As aggravating the errors claimed to reside in the argument of the Government to the jury, counsel now, though trial counsel did not, points to the characterization of appellant in summation as a "teenage hoodlum walking the streets of Washington * * *." Surely this sort of argument should be avoided. The trial of appellant was for rape, not for being a hoodlum. It is odd that the United States through its representative should be put in the position of trying in this way to prejudice the jury by going beyond the scope of the evidence and the trial. Such tactics are inconsistent with the civilization of the law and endanger the integrity of its administration. They should be condemned by the trial court sua sponte in the presence of the jury. But we feel certain the jury convicted in this case on the basis of its view of the evidence. We add that had objection been made we are confident the court would have instructed the jury to disregard this extraneous characterization of the accused.
With the exception of his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, which we hold to be unsupported, we have discussed all contentions raised on appeal. Any others unnoticed by counsel do not
Appellant also points out that the complaining witness had lost her glasses during the time she was attacked. She testified, however, that she did not always use these glasses. On cross-examination she said they were necessary only for reading, or when her eyes hurt, and that on the street she could see as well with the glasses off as on.
No effort was made to show that either of these descriptions did not fit the appellant. Moreover, appellant when cross-examined admitted that at that time he owned a beige jacket like the one the complaining witness described as worn by her assailant.