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People v. Curry





Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Saul A. Epton, Judge, presiding.


Rehearing denied January 29, 1974.

Eileen Curry, defendant herein, and Vivian Garcia were charged in a multi-count indictment returned in the circuit court of Cook County. Count I charged them with conspiracy to commit prostitution and also named Linda Marshall as an unindicted co-conspirator. In count II defendant was charged with pandering in that she arranged for Vivian Garcia to practice prostitution in return for monetary consideration. Count III alleged that defendant solicited for a prostitute. The final count averred that Vivian Garcia committed prostitution and the record discloses that she pleaded guilty. Following a bench trial defendant was convicted on all charges and sentenced to the penitentiary for a term of one to three years. Defendant appeals, challenging the validity of a search conducted by police at the time of her arrest, the adequacy of the indictment and the sufficiency of the evidence necessary to sustain guilt.

Prior to trial a discovery motion was filed on November 24, 1970, by defendant's retained counsel, who was one of three who represented her at separate instances during the course of the proceedings. This motion, in part, sought production of a copy of the complaint for a search warrant and the warrant issued pursuant thereto. The State responded three weeks later that the court file contained this information and defense counsel might obtain the material from the circuit court clerk upon request. On February 5, 1971, a written motion to quash the search warrant and suppress evidence was filed, averring that the room searched was not the one described in the warrant. The present record does not contain the original warrant, a complaint for the warrant or copies thereof.

At the hearing on this motion, defendant's second retained counsel and the prosecution had unsigned copies of the search warrant. Defense counsel orally sought leave to amend the written motion and requested that the original warrant be produced. The prosecutor again responded that this document was in the court file. The parties then, rather than cause further postponement, agreed to proceed without further request for the production of the original warrant.

As described by defense counsel, the warrant authorized the search of an office located at the north or northwest corner on the second floor of a building located at 1630 Armitage Avenue in Chicago. The defense claimed, however, that the office occupied by defendant was actually located at the northeast corner of the building. Defendant testified that several weeks before her arrest on August 14, 1970, she had moved from her office in the northwest portion of the building to one located across the hallway at the northeast corner. She could not recall the number of the telephone located in her former office. On the door of her new office was a sign which read "Unique Unlimited." Her further testimony, as well as that of an acquaintance, presented a confused geographical description of the precise location of the office but the record tends to establish that the entrance to the building was slanted in a northwesterly direction due to the fact that the building was constructed at an angle. Upon reaching the second floor, a person would make several turns and then walk in a northwesterly direction to defendant's office. There was no evidence that any office door displayed a number. The motion was denied.

On the date set for trial (March 18, 1971) defendant's final retained counsel presented another written motion to suppress evidence realleging the basis of the prior motion (the search of the wrong office) and further contending that the items seized should be suppressed because no inventory of those items was filed; that the police did not give defendant a copy of the warrant; and that the police had no warrant at the time of the search because, as defense counsel explained, the warrant was not procured until several hours later. The motion was denied and trial commenced.

Officer August Blue of the State's Attorney's police testified that on August 14, 1970, he was given a telephone number which he called and then asked for Margo. The party who answered identified herself as Carol and they spoke for about ten minutes. Blue identified himself as "Jim T" and told her that he was "out for a little fun." The other party then informed him of two women who were staying in area motels. Because of scheduling difficulties with the woman located in Chicago, Blue said that he would go to the suburban motel. He was informed that he might bring a friend and the cost would be $25. He was also told to identify himself as "St. Charles" and that the name of this woman was Vivian.

Blue and his partner then went to the motel where he met a female who identified herself as Vivian. After he told her that he was "St. Charles", she let him into the room and his partner waited in an adjoining area. Blue gave her $25 and they agreed to the sexual acts which would be performed. During this conversation she told him that the money she received was divided with another party. After she disrobed, Blue and his partner arrested her. The State's Attorney's office was notified and the girl, Vivian Garcia, was taken there.

Blue further testified that later that afternoon he entered a State's Attorney's office where he saw defendant and officer Corbett. He spoke to the latter and defendant interrupted, remarking that his voice sounded like the person with whom she had talked earlier that day. Blue identified defendant's voice as belonging to the party with whom he had spoken when the arrangements for the services of Vivian Garcia were made.

Officer William Corbett testified that on August 14, 1970, at 12:50 P.M., he arrived in his car near 1630 Armitage Avenue. After waiting more than an hour, he received a radio message from officer Gorman, who told him that a search warrant had been issued. He was told to seize material in desk drawers and other places in the office dealing with a "call girl" operation. Corbett said he was familiar with the type of material which would normally be included within this description. Upon entering the building, he went to an office located in the northwest corner of the second floor. The door bore a paper tag reading "Barbara Graham" or "Barbara Graham and Associates." He was about to open it when defendant came out holding an envelope. He took the envelope, told her that she was being detained and that a search warrant had been issued. He then informed her of her Miranda rights, which she said she understood. About one-half hour later Gorman arrived and she was given a copy of the search warrant. He said that the office contained some "old rags" but he did not know if they were related to clothing or dress-making. He searched a desk, closet and ceiling area of the office, and seized other documents in addition to papers contained in the envelope which seemed pertinent to the object of the search. In the State's Attorney's office later that afternoon he said defendant admitted to him that she had been engaged in prostitution-related activities during the past month because of her need for funds to pay certain bills. She said that she realized something was amiss when she tried to reach Vivian by phone at the motel but received no answer. She described the monetary arrangements she had established which allowed her to receive 40% of the money collected after motel room rent was paid. She further acknowledged that in the event of an arrest she would pay legal fees and secure bail bonds.

An attempt to renew a defense motion to suppress evidence on grounds previously alleged was denied. During the discussion on the motion the prosecutor stated that the search warrant in question had been issued by a judge at 1:50 P.M. on the day defendant was arrested. Defense counsel did not dispute this.

Linda Oswalt, also known as Linda Marshall or "Twiggy", was called by the prosecution and identified herself as the woman who was staying in the Chicago motel on August 14, 1970. She testified that Vivian Garcia introduced her to Margo (Nancy Brown), who in turn introduced defendant to her in the early part of August, 1970. Defendant asked her if she would perform certain sexual acts and an agreement was made whereby defendant would arrange for this witness to be a prostitute. In return, the money she received would be divided with Nancy Brown and defendant. About one week prior to August 14, 1970, she said that Nancy Brown and defendant terminated their association and she thereafter worked for defendant, who permitted her to retain a larger share of the proceeds. At five meetings prior to that date she divided money with the defendant. On August 12 she registered at the Chicago motel using the ...

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