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People v. Slavin





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. THOMAS FITZGERALD, Judge, presiding.


A jury found defendant, William Slavin, guilty of rape, indecent liberties with a child, and contributing to the sexual delinquency of a child. He was sentenced to a term of 8 to 24 years imprisonment on the rape conviction. No sentence was imposed on the other two convictions.

Defendant has appealed contending: (1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain convictions of the crimes charged; (2) only one conviction may stand where multiple convictions are based upon the same act; and (3) the sentence imposed was excessive.

The only testimony describing the alleged incident was provided by the complaining witness. Complainant, who was 13 years old at the time of the incident, testified that on June 18, 1974, between 9 and 10 p.m., she and two friends, James Ross and Gary Pierce, went to the Foster Avenue beach in Chicago where they drank beer for a couple of hours. The three then proceeded to a restaurant, and while outside, a group of youths including the defendant and co-defendant, Robert Morales, who takes no part in this appeal, approached. After some conversation, the complainant, Ross, and Pierce left and walked to an apartment building where they sat on the front steps. A short time later the youths from the restaurant came to the same location.

After about an hour defendant told complainant he wanted to talk to her. The two left the group and walked to a nearby apartment building where they sat in the outer hallway. Defendant accused the complainant of telling the police something about him, which she denied. Defendant grabbed complainant by the arm, said he would kill her if she said anything, dragged her up the stairs, pushed her into a vacant apartment, shut the door, and secured it with a board. The complainant was screaming and crying. Defendant pulled her hair and told her to shut up. He unzipped his pants, slapped her, and made her lie down. Defendant took off complainant's clothes, ripping her underpants, got on top of her, and put his penis into her vagina.

At this point the other youths broke open the door and complainant heard the co-defendant say, "I am going to get some of that." The complainant got halfway up when the co-defendant struck her in the face causing her to fall back on the floor. The co-defendant then got on top of her and put his penis into her vagina. The other youths did the same.

After the others left, complainant sat alone in the apartment for awhile. She then went to the apartment of a friend, Gloria Liebersbach, located about six or seven blocks away. Complainant rang the buzzer but there was no response. Complainant sat outside for awhile, and then went around the back of the building and sat there for a time. Complainant next went to Carol Stasbury's apartment located in the same building. Stasbury, a girlfriend of Liebersbach, had met complainant several times in the past. Upon entering, in response to a question as to what had happened, complainant told Stasbury she had been raped.

Stasbury *fn1 corroborated this testimony and said that it was about 7 a.m. on June 19, 1974, when complainant appeared at her apartment. Stasbury described the complainant as extremely disheveled, dirty, with blood stains on her trousers, scratches and bruises on her body. Complainant was crying hysterically and asked about Liebersbach. Complainant told Stasbury she had been raped. Stasbury ran a bath for complainant and observed bruises on the complainant's sides, lower abdomen and scratches on her chest. At about 9 a.m. Stasbury called the elementary school complainant attended and talked with a woman there who acted as a liason between complainant and her mother.

Thereafter, complainant's friend, Liebersbach, arrived and she and complainant went to her apartment. After discussing what to do, they both went to complainant's home at 2:30 p.m. and related the occurrence to complainant's mother who called the police. At the police station complainant looked through police mug books, each containing 100 to 300 photographs, and picked out photographs of defendant and co-defendant. She also identified both defendant and co-defendant in court.

That same day, complainant, accompanied by Sergeant Esmadge Cristia and two other Chicago police officers, went to the apartment building where the rape allegedly occurred. Sergeant Cristia testified that he recovered a pair of torn panties from the first floor apartment. Cristia took the panties to the police station as evidence but mistakenly marked them as no longer needed and they were destroyed.

Complainant was taken to the Ravenswood Hospital emergency room where she was examined by Dr. Ghousia Khan. Dr. Khan, testifying from charts of June 19, 1974, noted that the complainant was conscious and alert, that there was a bruise on the left side of her neck, and tenderness on the right side of her chest and rib area. No other injuries were noted on this chart. Samples for the presence of sperm were taken.

Bernadette Kwak, a Chicago Police Department microanalyst, performed tests on these samples and found the presence of spermatozoa. Kwak testified that there was no way to determine whether the spermatozoa came from one or more individuals, nor was there any way to trace it to any one individual.

Dr. Khan also examined complainant the next day, on June 20, 1974, at which time complainant was bleeding from the vagina and had tenderness in her lower abdomen. The doctor found this consistent with the complainant's normal menstrual cycle. The doctor also testified that she called Dr. J.R. Bernier, complainant's treating physician for the past four or five years, so that he might examine complainant.

That same day, Dr. Bernier examined complainant. His main concern at that time was to determine the cause of the bleeding. He found the bleeding due to complainant's normal menstrual cycle. He also found a minor laceration at the vaginal orifice which he stated could be due to any type of trauma, and several minor abrasions on the complainant's inner thighs. The doctor ...

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