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People v. Robinson

OPINION FILED MARCH 29, 1976.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,

v.

LLOYD ROBINSON, APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the First District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Louis B. Garippo, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE RYAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Pursuant to a plea agreement the defendant, Lloyd Robinson, in the circuit court of Cook County, entered a plea of guilty to an indictment charging him with the offense of rape. The appellate court affirmed the conviction with one justice dissenting. (28 Ill. App.3d 757.) We granted defendant leave to appeal.

It is defendant's contention in this court that he was not properly admonished as to the "nature of the charge" as required by Rule 402(a)(1) (58 Ill.2d R. 402(a)(1)).

On April 1, 1972, a 15-year-old girl was threatened with a knife, raped, beaten and robbed of $11. The defendant was arrested and identified by the complaining witness in a lineup. Complaints were then filed charging him with forcible rape and armed robbery. A preliminary hearing was held at which the defendant was present. The complaining witness testified and identified him, and the court found there was probable cause to believe he had committed the offenses. The matter was then presented to the grand jury.

The defendant was indicted on June 29, 1972, in a four-count indictment charging him with rape, contributing to the sexual delinquency of a child, indecent liberties with a child and armed robbery. At the arraignment counsel was appointed for the defendant, and a copy of the indictment was furnished to him. His counsel acknowledged receipt of the copy and waived the formal reading of the indictment in court.

Several continuances were had, and later in response to a discovery motion made by defense counsel the prosecution furnished to the defendant, among other things, copies of police reports which contained summaries of the investigating officers concerning the incident, including summaries of the statement by the complaining witness. The discovery motion also requested that transcripts of the testimony of witnesses before the grand jury be furnished. The transcript of the grand jury testimony of the complaining witness and a police officer was available prior to the entry of the guilty plea, and the trial judge, following the entry of the plea, stated that he had read the grand jury testimony and was satisfied that there was a factual basis for the plea. In her testimony before the grand jury the complaining witness had detailed the facts of the rape and robbery.

On March 19, 1973, the defendant appeared in court with his counsel. At that time the court stated that it understood there had been a negotiated plea, and defendant's counsel confirmed this understanding. The transcript discloses that the court had participated in the plea discussions. The court then admonished the defendant and stated:

"THE COURT: * * * In this indictment you are charged with the offense of rape.

THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir."

The court further informed the defendant of the penalty for rape and also informed him that the court had agreed that upon a plea of guilty it would impose a sentence of not less than four years nor more than four years and one day and stated:

"THE COURT: Knowing these things, is it your desire to plead guilty or not guilty? You are charged with rape.

THE DEFENDANT: Guilty."

The plea was accepted and the agreed sentence was imposed.

It is defendant's contention that by only informing the defendant that he was charged with rape the court did not inform him of the "nature of the charge" as is required by Rule 402(a)(1). The defendant contends that this provision of the rule requires the court to advise him of the essential ...


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