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People v. Sangster

AUGUST 31, 1970.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

WILLIE SANGSTER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Macon County; the Hon. DONALD W. MORTHLAND, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.

TRAPP, J.

At the conclusion of a bench trial defendant was found guilty of pandering and sentenced to a term of two to five years. He appeals.

The offense was charged in the language:

". . . that for money he arranged a situation in which Toye Brown, a female, did practice prostitution."

Ill Rev Stats 1967, c 38, § 11-16(a) (2).

It is defendant's theory that the evidence was not sufficient to support the conviction for this offense, arguing that if the evidence is sufficient to show any offense committed such would be under c 38, § 11-19, pimping, or possibly under c 38, § 11-15, soliciting for a prostitute.

Defendant argues that under the provisions of the Criminal Code of 1961, pandering arises by reason of the relationship existing, and acts done, between the panderer and the prostitute in terms of recruitment or arranging a situation in which the woman practices prostitution. We agree.

Apart from defendant's testimony that he did not live at the address and that he was just visiting the "nice girls" without knowledge that they were practicing prostitution, the principal facts are that following receipt of complaints of venereal disease the police raided the premises. Officers Sandage and Coventry stopped in front of the premises where defendant was sitting on the front porch. Sandage asked defendant if there were any girls there. Defendant answered that there were and directed them to go to the back door. Defendant let the officers into the building at the back door and left the room. Two women were present and Sandage spoke to Toye Brown. The latter asked Sandage to step into a small adjacent room and asked him how much he wanted to spend. He indicated and handed her a ten dollar bill which had been treated with phosphorescent powder. As they started upstairs, she left him and went momentarily into an adjacent room which he described as a kitchen. They proceeded upstairs and she removed her gown. Sandage then announced that he was a police officer and placed her under arrest. Coventry remained downstairs with Pamela Johnson, and upon Sandage's signal Coventry beckoned several waiting police officers into the building. The defendant and the two women were thereupon arrested and taken to police headquarters. The hands of Toye Brown and defendant were examined under ultraviolet light to bring out the phosphorescent glow evidencing that each had handled the treated ten dollar bill. This item was never found.

Coventry testified that he saw Toye Brown hand something to the defendant. At this time defendant was in an adjacent room described as a kitchen. Coventry testified that following the arrest, defendant expressed outrage and said that there was no evidence and no case. Sullivan, the officer in charge of the raid, testified that defendant said that they were not going to get them this time as they were not going to get the ten dollar bill back, that they had gotten the ten dollar bill from him the last time but would not get it this time.

There is, of course, no evidence that defendant compelled Toye Brown to become a prostitute. C 38, § 11-16 (a) (1). Is there evidence showing beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant arranged a situation in which a female may practice prostitution?

The "Committee Comment" prepared for this section and found in Illinois Annotated Statutes, c 38, § 11-16, discusses the offense in the following terms:

"Section 11-16 describes the activity here labelled `pandering,' which involves the recruiting of persons into the practice of prostitution and with keeping practicing prostitutes in that line of endeavor. This functional classification then makes a distinction between the `recruiter-business manager' and the runner or contact man (dealt with under the preceding section) and the individual who is the prostitute's consort — the pimp."

It is subsequently said that the emphasis of the section is directed against one who puts the prostitute in business or keeps her there. No cases are cited as to quantum or quality of evidence required under this section. We have found none.

It is shown beyond a reasonable doubt that Toye Brown and defendant handled the treated money placed into the business by Sandage. Particularly significant is that Toye Brown immediately upon receipt of the bill, arranged to deliver it to the defendant. The testimony of Sandage is that Toye Brown went into the one remaining room on the floor where defendant could be apart from the others. Coventry saw Toye Brown hand something to defendant while he was in that room. The trier of fact could reasonably infer that this was the business arrangement and that defendant was not simply a pimp, as he subsequently boasted that he had so disposed of the bill that the police would never find it. Such suggests a claim of right or interest and control in the cash ...


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