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People v. Hiller





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. DANIEL J. WHITE, Judge, presiding.


Following a bench trial the defendant, David Hiller, was convicted of the offense of rape (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 11-1) and sentenced to a term of four years to four years and a day. On appeal the defendant contends (1) that the acquittal of a co-defendant raises a reasonable doubt as to his guilt and (2) that the court's restriction of his cross-examination of a witness denied him a fair trial.

At trial the complainant testified that in June of 1974, when she was 19 years of age, she moved into the apartment of Thomas and Maureen Hendrickson at the invitation of Maureen. It was agreed that the complainant would sleep on the sofa bed in the living room of the one-bedroom apartment.

The complainant soon discovered that Thomas Hendrickson's boss, Eugene Gretchokoff, also resided in the apartment and slept on the sofa bed. Subsequently, the complainant and Gretchokoff had sexual relations several times. The last time the couple had intercourse was on June 29, 1974, and Gretchokoff moved out of the apartment on July 2, 1974.

On July 3, 1974, the complainant returned from work at approximately 5:30 p.m. Maureen was in the apartment and subsequently Thomas Hendrickson, her husband, Steve McKinney and the defendant arrived. At the complainant's request, McKinney drove her to her parents' home to pick up some clothes. They stopped at a restaurant before returning to the apartment at approximately 11:30 p.m. When they returned Thomas Hendrickson and the defendant were drinking beer and Maureen and her step-daughter were sleeping in the bedroom. The complainant took a shower and retired for the evening.

Subsequently, the complainant was awakened by the tearing of her clothes. She saw Hendrickson, McKinney and the defendant naked in front of her. The complainant testified that each man forcibly had intercourse with her, while the others held her down. She stated that during the attack Maureen was in the kitchen talking on the telephone.

The complainant did not leave the apartment until 11 a.m. the following morning. When she left Thomas Hendrickson picked up a camper's knife from the table and warned her not to say anything.

The complainant further testified that she went to her grandfather's home and telephoned Gretchokoff. After she told him that she had been raped, Gretchokoff called the police. Two police officers met the complainant and her grandfather at the Hendricksons' apartment. The complainant told the officers that she had a disagreement with her friend and that she wanted to get her clothes out of the apartment. After the complainant retrieved her clothes from the apartment, her grandfather convinced her to inform the officers about the rape.

The officers took the complainant to Holy Cross Hospital where she was given a physical examination. Vaginal smears taken from the complainant indicated the presence of sperm.

Conflicting testimony was offered concerning the presence of bruises on the complainant's body on July 4. Her grandfather testified that her throat, arms and wrists were beginning to bruise, while Gretchokoff testified that when he saw the complainant later that afternoon there was a bruise below her left eye. Investigator Harry Kunz, of the Chicago Police Department, who interviewed the complainant at the hospital, observed bruises on her neck, arms, wrist and leg. However, neither patrolman Donald Fatime, who accompanied the complainant into the Hendricksons' apartment, nor Dr. Kenneth Wilcox, who examined her at the hospital, found any evidence of bruises.

The defendant denied the complainant's accusation of rape. He admitted that he, his wife and children visited the Hendricksons' apartment on the evening of July 3. However, he testified that he and his family left the apartment around 8 p.m., and that he did not return that evening. The co-defendant, Thomas Hendrickson, did not testify.

The State presented Maureen Hendrickson, who was divorced from Thomas Hendrickson at the time of trial, as a rebuttal witness. The State advised the court that Maureen believed that Hendrickson would testify also. She was instructed not to give any testimony which pertained to her former husband.

Maureen testified that the only men in her apartment that evening were Hendrickson, McKinney and the defendant. While two men restrained the complainant, the defendant had intercourse with her. Maureen also stated that McKinney and a third man had intercourse with the complainant. When she attempted to interfere with the attack, Maureen was struck by Hendrickson.

Maureen admitted that the State originally had charged her with unlawful restraint in connection with the incident. She also stated that during the attack, she spoke to the defendant's wife on the telephone ...

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