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People v. Pierre

SEPTEMBER 3, 1969.




Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JAMES A. GEROULIS, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.


Defendant, Roy Pierre, Jr., was charged with the offenses of forcible rape and robbery. Prior to trial and after a hearing, a motion to suppress certain oral statements made by defendant was denied. After a bench trial, defendant was found guilty of both charges and sentenced to a term of two to three years in the penitentiary, the sentences to run concurrently. Defendant appeals, contending that defendant's oral statements should have been suppressed, and that he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

At the pretrial hearing on the motion to suppress certain statements, the following testimony was adduced. Officer James Severin of the Chicago Police Department testified for the State that he was assigned to investigate a rape. On January 16, 1966, defendant, his mother and a friend of hers came to the police station. A lineup was held, and the complaining witness identified defendant as her assailant. The witness then took her statement in the presence of the defendant, and this took from forty-five minutes to an hour. After the statement was typed, defendant stated that he committed the crime, and that he was sorry. He also asked the complaining witness not to press charges against him. After the complaining witness left, defendant's mother came into the room. In her presence, defendant at first denied, then admitted committing the acts in question. At no time had defendant requested the presence of his mother or an attorney.

On cross-examination Severin testified that he had called defendant on January 14, and had asked him to come into the station. He again called on January 15, talking to defendant's mother, and requested that defendant come in Sunday, January 16. The witness arrived at 4:45 p.m., and found defendant sitting in an office and his mother directly outside the office. From the time the witness arrived, defendant was not interrogated by anyone until the witness began asking questions at about 6:45 p.m. in the presence of complainant. He did not advise defendant of his right to an attorney or the presence of his parent. He knew that defendant was 17 years old. Defendant gave his statement about 7:05, and was not asked any further questions. From 7:05 to 7:25 the witness typed up the arrest slip, and then called in defendant's mother.

Harriet Pierre, defendant's mother, testified for the defense that on January 2, Officer Severin came to her home and asked about her son, stating that he was a witness to a killing. The officer called on January 15, asking her to bring her son down about 4:30 p.m. the next day. She went into a room with her son, and the officer asked her to step out. She was at the station from 5:00 p.m. until 7:55 p.m. She saw a lineup but did not know what it was all about. About 7:55 she was told that she could see her son. At first he denied doing anything, but after the officer told him "you are fibbing," he admitted it. She had no other conversation with her son, and was taken home. Her son looked like he had been crying and looked scared.

Defendant testified that in January, he was working and living at home with his parents, sister and brother. He had never been arrested before. His mother received a phone call from a police officer about a shooting, and took him down to the station to see what it was all about. When they arrived at the station, a policeman took him into an office and started questioning him. No one told him that he had the right to an attorney, or that he could have his mother present. He remembered a lady coming into the office; just before she came in, the police told him to shut up. He was telling the officers that he didn't do it, that he had never seen the lady before, and that he wanted to see his mother. When the officer told him to shut up, he became frightened and started to cry. There were four other persons in the lineup, one younger and the others about his age. After the lineup, he was taken back into the room and questioned further. His mother then entered the room.

On cross-examination, defendant testified that when he first arrived, he went to a room where there were about eight or ten policemen; they told his mother to get out. The woman who was to sign the complaint was also in the room. He asked for his mother about six or eight times, and was refused. After the lineup, he was taken back into the room. Officer Severin and the complaining witness were there. After the officer had finished typing the lady's statement, defendant's mother came in. He did not tell her that he did it.

The complaining witness testified for the State in rebuttal that on January 16, Officer Severin requested that she come to the police station. At the station, she identified defendant out of a lineup. A few minutes later, she went to Officer Severin's office, where she gave a statement. It took about a half-hour to forty-five minutes to give the statement. While she was being questioned, defendant first would say that he didn't do it and then would say that he did it, and that he was sorry. He asked her not to sign a complaint. At no time did she hear defendant ask to see his mother.

On cross-examination, the complaining witness testified that defendant asked to see his mother once or twice while her statement was being taken. She and her sister returned home from the station about 7:30 p.m.

The motion to suppress any oral statements made by defendant was denied by the trial court.

The following testimony was brought out at trial. Complaining witness testified that on November 22, 1965, she was single, and living with her sister and brother-in-law at 2245 West Lake Street, Chicago. At about 10:00 p.m. she entered the building elevator and pushed the button for the twelfth floor. On the eighth floor, the defendant got on. He told her to put her hand on the open button, and then told her this was a stickup. He put a knife in her side and a dirty rag in her mouth. They walked upstairs to the ninth floor. He told her to face the wall, then took her money and phonograph records. He told her to take her clothes off and to get on the floor. He slapped her in the face when she wouldn't be still. He then had intercourse with her. After he left, she put her coat on and tried to catch him but failed. She went to her sister's apartment and called the police. She attended a lineup on January 15, but was unable to identify anyone. On January 16, she returned to view another lineup and at that time identified defendant. Three of the people in the lineup were about 17, and the fourth person was older. Afterwards, she gave a statement to Officer Severin in defendant's presence. The defendant cut in several times to state that he didn't do it. He then said that he did it, that he was sorry, and asked her not to sign a complaint. She married after the occurrence.

On cross-examination, she testified that she weighed 170 pounds. She had described her attacker as a male negro about 17 or 18 years old, and about five feet five and a half or five feet six inches. She did not believe that she told any officer that her assailant was five feet ten inches. He weighed about 130 pounds, and was wearing light colored khaki pants, a brown or beige cream colored three quarter length coat and a striped cap. She next saw the defendant in the early part of January at an A & P Food Store. She first heard his voice, then turned and looked at defendant. After looking at him, she told her sister, who was with her in the store, that was the man. Her sister knew defendant's nickname and had seen him in the neighborhood. She did not go to a hospital after the attack, nor did the police take any of her clothing. She never told anyone that she did not wish to prosecute or sign a complaint. On December 8, she told Officer Severin that she was going to get married, and didn't want her husband to know anything about the incident.

Officer Thomas Munyon of the Chicago Police Department testified that about 10:15 p.m. on November 22, 1965, he was ordered to interview a rape victim. When they arrived, the complaining witness was sitting at the kitchen table, crying. She told them what had happened and described her assailant as being five nine to five ten, 130 to 135 pounds, dark complexioned, wearing a brown three quarter length coat and brown pants.

Officer James Severin testified that on January 16, defendant came to his office at about 4:40 p.m. The witness had told the mother that defendant was a witness to a shooting. Defendant, along with three other individuals, was placed in a lineup. Afterwards, the complaining witness gave a statement in defendant's presence. Defendant, after first denying it, admitted committing the crimes. His mother came in, and he also admitted the attack to her. The complaining witness told him on December 8 that she had seen the man who ...

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