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People v. Richardson

OPINION FILED OCTOBER 4, 1976.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

DAVID RICHARDSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Jefferson County; the Hon. CLARENCE E. PARTEE, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE GEORGE J. MORAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant David Richardson appeals from a judgment of the circuit court of Jefferson County, finding him guilty of indecent liberties with a child, after a jury trial.

Defendant, age 28, was charged with having sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 16 years on May 18, 1974. The intercourse was alleged to have occurred under the following circumstances. Bert Adcock, who lived a short distance from the home of the complaining witness, came to the complaining witness's house and asked if she could baby-sit on the night of May 18, 1974. Permission was given, and while the complaining witness was at the Adcock home she was given some drinks of alcoholic beverages and shown pornographic movies. The Adcocks then left, leaving the complaining witness alone with the defendant who seduced her. The testimony elicited throughout the trial was in direct conflict as to the events on the date in question, defendant testifying that he was at work and the complaining witness giving a full account of various sexual acts on that date.

Defendant cites many instances of reversible error committed by the prosecution in the trial of this case which he claims entitle him to a new trial.

The defense called L.C., who testified that she was 14 years of age and attended Casey Junior High School. She stated that she knew the complaining witness and that on May 17, 1974, she was walking home from school with her, when the complaining witness told her that she might be pregnant, but did not say by whom.

• 1 On cross-examination the State's attorney asked L.C. if she had a brother and whether he had been in any trouble. She replied that her brother Joe had been in trouble for breaking into parking meters. The defense counsel at this point objected stating that they were not trying the issue of her brother or her family relations. The State's attorney told the court that he thought he could tie it in and the court overruled the objection. The State's attorney then asked L.C. if her brother had assisted in an armed robbery. The defense again objected and the State's attorney argued that he was showing bias on the part of a witness against the State of Illinois. The court said it would hear the testimony. The witness was then questioned by the State's attorney concerning the details of her brother's conviction for armed robbery and also had her read her brother's statement concerning the crime. After the reading of the statement, the defense moved that all the testimony be stricken and that the jury be ordered to disregard it. The State's attorney argued that the testimony showed bias on the part of L.C. and should be weighed by the jury in evaluating the credibility of her testimony. The court ordered the testimony stricken and that the jury be directed to disregard it. The trial court's ruling came too late to remove the damage caused by this episode.

During the cross-examination of the defendant, the State's attorney asked him if he had ever had sexual relations with anyone else and the following took place:

"Q. Have you ever had sexual relations with anyone else?

Defense Counsel: I object to that.

The Court: Let him finish his question.

A. No, I haven't.

Q. You have not?

The Court: The jury may not have heard the question.

Defense Counsel: I object to the question and the answer and ask ...


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