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People v. Lechner

JUNE 24, 1965

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

JOE LECHNER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, Montgomery County; the Hon. F.R. DOVE, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.

GOLDENHERSH, J.

Rehearing denied August 5, 1965.

The defendant, Joe Lechner was tried by jury in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County and convicted of the crimes of rape (Ill Rev Stats 1963, c 38, § 11-1), and deviate sexual assault (c 38, § 11-4). He was sentenced to the penitentiary for a term of not less than 3 nor more than 10 years on each offense, the two sentences to run concurrently.

The appeal presents only one question: whether the trial court erred in admitting certain rebuttal testimony. In view of the narrow issue to be reviewed, a statement of the facts is not required. Suffice it to say, this court has carefully examined the evidence adduced at the trial, and the testimony of the prosecutrix is amply corroborated, both by medical evidence, and testimony concerning events prior to the commission of the offense. The People v. Hiller, 7 Ill.2d 465, 131 N.E.2d 25. Unless the admission of the rebuttal testimony was reversible error, the judgment must be affirmed.

The complainant is the mother-in-law of the defendant. The offense charged was allegedly committed on Saturday, April 4, 1964. It is not disputed that on Wednesday, April 8, 1964, defendant's wife, daughter of the complaining witness, called her mother by telephone. The call was made from Peoria, where defendant and his wife reside, and reached the complainant at a residence in Hillsboro, where she was employed as a baby sitter.

Defendant's wife testified in his behalf. On direct examination she was not interrogated regarding the telephone call. On cross-examination, the state's attorney asked her whether she had called her mother on April 8. She replied that she had, that she called three times before reaching her, and when they talked, her mother was at her place of employment. The cross-examination continued as follows:

"Q. Did you at any such conversation at that time say to your mother that if your mother didn't drop the case that Joe would make you say that your mother was crazy?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you want her to drop the case?

A. Yes.

Q. You called her three times that day?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you called her ...


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