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People v. Otkins

SEPTEMBER 17, 1969.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

CLAUDE W. OTKINS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



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

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE DRUCKER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Rehearing denied October 29, 1969.

Defendant was found guilty by a jury of attempt to commit rape. Judgment was entered and he was sentenced to a term of six to fourteen years. Appellant raises three points on appeal: (1) he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt because neither specific intent to commit rape nor a substantial step toward the commission of rape was proven; (2) the trial judge refused to give an instruction tendered by defendant covering certain items not covered in other instructions; (3) he was denied a fair trial because the prosecutor questioned him about his prior felony conviction.

EVIDENCE

Testimony of Complaining Witness:

On February 8, 1966, she was a student at the University of Chicago, working for her Ph.D. in psychology. On that evening she attended a class which ended at 10:30 p.m. and then went to the library in the Psychology Building to do some reading. She left the library alone at about 10:45 intending to catch the University bus. She apparently missed the bus and decided to walk home, a distance of about eight blocks. As she was walking she heard someone running toward her from behind, and she began to run. She wasn't quick enough and a man jumped onto her. She dropped her purse and briefcase at the moment of attack. She began struggling with him, and screamed for help. Several people came out of their houses but then returned without helping her when her attacker told the people that she was his wife.

The man with whom she was struggling was the defendant. He dragged her in the direction of a townhouse that was under construction at 5203 University. She struggled all the way, but she did not scream again. He shoved her through a doorway leading to the basement of the townhouse, but there were no stairs and she fell into the basement; he fell after her. He pushed her against the wall and told her to keep quiet. He put his hands around her neck and began to choke her. She told him that she had $10 in her purse and that he could have it. He then said something like, "At first I wanted your money, but now I want you." She thinks he said this twice, once on the street and once in the basement. Defendant held her in the basement for about five minutes choking her; she tried to scream again but could not because she was being choked and she was having trouble getting her breath.

The police came and jumped into the basement. Defendant's hands were on her neck until the police arrived. There were quite a few policemen; Mr. Arthur Howard and Mr. Irvin were among them. Defendant never left her sight from the instant he attacked her to the time the police arrived. She had quite a few scratches and bruises mainly on her legs; she had a scar around her neck where defendant's hands had been pressing. Her blouse was torn and her slip somewhat torn.

Defendant did not grab her purse nor did he touch any intimate parts of her body. He did not attempt to cover her mouth with his hands or to cut off her cries. He did not try to kiss her. His body was about six inches from hers when they were in the basement; his body was not touching hers. He never tried to raise her dress.

She walked from 55th to 52nd Street along University; she was not walking with defendant. She does not remember defendant telling the police that she had his $10 bill. She did not state that she had a $10 bill in her purse. She had a $10 bill but spent some of it. She does not recall defendant telling the police to look in her purse. She never took money from defendant.

Testimony of Art Howard, called by the State:

He is an officer on the Chicago Police Department and was so employed on February 8, 1966. At about 11:00 p.m. that day he was patrolling in the vicinity of 52nd and University when he heard the screams of a woman. He was in a two-man squad car. He stopped in front of 5215 University. He heard the scream again and at that time there was a radio call about a woman screaming for help in the area. He got out of the car and went into 5213 University from where he thought the screams were emanating. He then heard another muffled scream and went to the 5215 building, a townhouse under construction. He shined his light into the basement of the building and saw two people against the east wall of the basement. Defendant had both hands around the complaining witness' neck with the thumbs to the throat.

At that time defendant released the woman and ran toward the light. The officer said, "Where are you? We are police officers." Defendant then ran over towards the wall, which had a narrow little window. Then he just stopped. Defendant said, "All I want is my money back."

He asked defendant why he was holding the woman in the building. Defendant stated that he was trying to get his money back from her. Defendant said that he had paid her for sexual intercourse; he said that he ...


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