Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JACQUES
F. HEILINGOETTER, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.
MR. JUSTICE BURKE DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.
Defendant was found guilty at a bench trial of the crime of indecent liberties with a child and sentenced to a term of four years to five years in the penitentiary. He appeals. Defendant's motion made during oral argument to waive the filing of an abstract or excerpts of record was allowed.
Michael Veradi testified that on October 5, 1967, he was thirteen years of age and attended junior high school in Harvey, Illinois. He testified that he attended classes in the morning on that day, and that he ate lunch at noon at the De Mars Restaurant in Harvey. As Michael was paying his bill about 12:30 p.m., he noticed defendant standing behind him, and as he walked out of the restaurant, defendant followed.
Outside the restaurant Michael asked the defendant to purchase some tickets for a function being held by his school. He testified that defendant stated that he had no money with him, but suggested that the boy accompany him to his apartment where he would get some money. Michael testified that defendant then told him that he could make two dollars if he stayed with him until 1:00 p.m. Michael agreed and the two drove off in defendant's automobile.
Michael testified that defendant told him that he had an appointment in Chicago Heights, and that he and defendant drove in that direction for that reason. After a 45- to 60-minute ride, the pair stopped at a tavern where defendant consumed an alcoholic drink and Michael a soft drink. The pair then returned in defendant's automobile to defendant's apartment, the latter trip taking 25 to 30 minutes.
Michael testified that in the apartment, he seated himself on a chair near the television which was switched on by the defendant. Defendant then mixed an alcoholic drink and seated himself on the couch. Michael testified that defendant summoned him to the couch, unbuttoned and removed his (Michael's) shirt, several times placed the mixed drink glass to his (Michael's) lips for him to drink, and fondled his (Michael's) penis for several minutes. Defendant asked Michael if he "liked it"; Michael answered in the negative and stated that he wished to go home. While driving back to the De Mars Restaurant where Michael had earlier left his bicycle, defendant asked him if he wished to return to the apartment and the boy replied in the negative. They arrived at the restaurant about 2:30 p.m.
When Michael arrived home he received telephone calls from his sister and from his mother. Later that day Michael and his mother and father went to the vicinity of defendant's apartment and noted the license plate number of defendant's automobile parked in front of the apartment. The three then drove to the Harvey Police Station.
Harvey Police Officer Howard Farning testified that at approximately 8:55 p.m. on this day, he and his partner, Officer Hunt, went to defendant's apartment and knocked on the door; defendant, clad in his pajamas, opened the door. The officer testified that he asked the defendant if his name was Luther Roy and if he owned the automobile parked outside. Defendant responded in the affirmative to both questions and the officer then asked him "if he would come down to the Harvey Police Station with us, we would like to talk to him." The defendant consented, and upon going to change his clothing, he asked the officers, "Is that about the boy I had up here?" Defendant was then transported to the Harvey Police Station.
Defendant, testifying in his own behalf, stated that he met Michael Veradi in the De Mars Restaurant on the afternoon in question and that the boy asked him for a quarter. Defendant said, "No," whereupon the boy asked him to purchase tickets to his school's function. Defendant again declined and told Michael that he had to drive to Chicago Heights to keep an appointment. He testified that the boy then asked if he could accompany defendant for the ride. Defendant declined, stating that Michael had to return to school that afternoon, but Michael said that classes had been canceled because of a teachers meeting that afternoon. Defendant testified that after some further insistence by the boy, he agreed to take him for a ride to Chicago Heights.
Defendant testified that during the ride, the pair talked about baseball, and that Michael later stated that he was hungry and also stated that he was skipping school that afternoon. Defendant told him that there was no place in the area to eat, and that he should either go back to school or go home. He testified that Michael asked him if he had a color television set at home, which defendant stated he did. Michael then asked if he could watch a World Series baseball game on the set, and defendant declined. The pair got into a heated exchange of words, and defendant suggested that they stop for something to drink. On their return trip to Harvey, Michael continued to insist that he be allowed to watch the baseball game on defendant's color television. Defendant testified that he finally consented to the boy watching a half inning of the game.
In the apartment, Michael seated himself in a chair near the television and defendant switched on the set. Defendant mixed himself an alcoholic drink, and sat in the kitchen with the drink until he heard that a half inning of the game was over. He testified that he then walked over to the television, switched it off, and told Michael, "That is all, Mike, let's go."
Defendant testified that Michael again asked if defendant would purchase tickets from him, that he again refused, and that the pair left the apartment. Defendant testified that the time spent in the apartment was exactly five and one-half minutes, and that they left the apartment at 12:53 p.m. Defendant further testified that he drove the boy back to the De Mars Restaurant, arriving there at 12:55 p.m. Defendant then drove to his wife's place of employment.
Defendant denied touching or in any manner fondling Michael Veradi, and further denied forcing him to accept the alcoholic drink in the apartment.
The record also reveals that Michael denied knowing the defendant prior to the incident; defendant, on the other hand, testified that he knew Michael by sight because Michael used to play with some boys who lived next door to the defendant, and that ...