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People v. Van Dyke

FEBRUARY 28, 1969.




Appeal from the Circuit Court of DuPage County, Eighteenth Judicial Circuit; the Hon. LEROY RECHENMACHER, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.


The sole issue on this appeal is whether "Under all the circumstances disclosed in the record . . . the defendant was adequately represented by counsel."

In the latter part of July, 1967, the defendant, Charles Van Dyke, was charged with various sexual offenses. He was unable to make bail and, consequently, remained in jail. Prior to indictment, he retained Carl Kuhn (herein called Kuhn) as private counsel, to represent him. Kuhn, and attorney John Lang (herein called Lang), who filed an appearance on behalf of the defendant, filed three petitions for a writ of habeas corpus, seeking his release, and Lang acted as trial counsel on his behalf.

In Circuit Court cause number 67-1899 G, the defendant was indicted for indecent liberties with a child, Barbara Godenius. This case was tried before a jury on November 14, 1967. Lang called no witnesses on behalf of the defendant, but did attack the weaknesses of the People's case. The jury returned a not guilty verdict.

On November 21, 1967, a jury returned a verdict finding the defendant guilty in cause number 67-2526 G. The information in this cause contained two counts. Count I charged the defendant with contributing to the sexual delinquency of Rebel Rayboss, a minor; and Count II made the same charge with reference to Mary Anne Van Dyke, the minor daughter of the defendant.

The defendant was also indicted, in Circuit Court cause number 67-1898 G, for indecent liberties and aggravated incest with said Mary Anne Van Dyke. This case was heard before a jury which rendered a verdict of guilty on November 22, 1967.

Lang, who also acted as the defendant's trial counsel in the two cases wherein guilty verdicts were returned, followed the same tactical procedures therein as he had used in the jury trial wherein the not guilty verdict was returned.

In Circuit Court cause number 67-1898 G, the defendant was sentenced to serve not less than 6 nor more than 12 years at the State Pentitentiary at Joliet; and in cause number 67-2526 G, he was sentenced to serve 1 year at said penitentiary, this sentence to be served concurrently with that in cause number 67-1898 G.

In each case wherein a jury verdict of guilty was returned, Lang moved for a mistrial; filed a motion for a directed verdict at the close of the People's case; submitted adequate instructions on behalf of the defendant; fully argued the case to the jury; filed a comprehensive motion in arrest of, and to vacate, the judgment; and filed motion for new trial. He fully argued the post-trial motions, offered numerous citations in support of the motions and appeared for the defendant at the hearing in aggravation and mitigation in each case. After sentence in cause number 67-1898 G, the defendant asked for an appeal, and the court appointed Lang to represent him therein.

After the hearing in aggravation and mitigation in cause number 67-2526 G and the pronouncement of sentence, the defendant addressed the court and made a long and rambling statement wherein he stated that Kuhn, his lawyer, came to the jail to get his money but never came back; that neither Kuhn nor Lang visited him in jail to learn about his case; that the facts were not brought out during the trial; that he was innocent; that his wife and Mrs. Rayboss lied on the witness stand and told Mary Anne Van Dyke and Rebel Rayboss what to say, as witnesses; that his wife's boyfriend had coached Mary Anne; that his present wife and his first wife were both unfaithful to him, and his present wife framed him; that his attorneys would not let his mother testify, and her testimony would have helped to clear him; and that his counsel would not let him take the stand.

In reply to the defendant's statement, Lang stated that he and Kuhn brought the defendant's mother to court during the trials, but concluded not to call her as a witness; that they knew what they were doing when they "didn't put her on the stand."

At the hearing in aggravation and mitigation in cause number 67-1898 G, it was brought out that the defendant was indicted in Cook County in 1956 for contributing to the delinquency of a minor; that he entered a plea of guilty to such charge; and that he was granted probation.

The trial judge, before whom the two cases (wherein the jury rendered verdicts of guilty) were tried, remarked that the defendant had been well represented at the trial, and that Lang's conduct at the trials indicated that he had spent "a lot of time" in planning his defense. Even after the defendant made the statement, Lang represented him at the aggravation and mitigation hearing and argued in mitigation of the offense. After sentence, the defendant said he would like to have Lang represent him on appeal. Lang offered to do so, and was appointed by the court to prosecute the appeal.

The common-law record reflects a letter dated March 8, 1968, from the defendant, addressed to the clerk, inquiring re the status of his appeals. On March 26, 1968, the court entered an order appointing the Public Defender of DuPage County to represent the defendant. The record is silent with reference to why Lang did not perfect the appeals. In this court, the appeals were consolidated for ...

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