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People v. Turner





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


This is an appeal from the judgment of the circuit court of Cook County, after a jury trial, convicting the defendant, Ronald R. Turner, of the crimes of rape and deviate sexual assault. The court entered a directed finding of not guilty as to a third charge of aggravated kidnapping. After a hearing on aggravation and mitigation, the defendant was sentenced to concurrent terms of 45 years, pursuant to the extended-term statute. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 1005-8-2.

The issues presented for review are: (1) whether the prosecutor's closing argument regarding defendant's failure to call corroborating witnesses denied the defendant a fair trial; (2) whether the court erred in sentencing the defendant under the extended-term statute; and (3) whether the court erred in hearing evidence, entered at the defendant's sentencing hearing, of a separate incident regarding pending criminal charges against the defendant.

On December 8, 1978, at about 9:45 p.m., Lorraine Liddell, a 19-year-old high school student at St. Mary's High School, was traveling from her brother's house to a party at Sabrina Bartlett's house. Lorraine's brother's house was located on South Kimbark Street, about 1 1/2 blocks from her mother's house, on East 62d Street. Sabrina Bartlett's house was located at 75th Street and Merrill. On her way to the party, Lorraine stopped at her mother's house to tell her where she was going.

Lorraine headed toward the bus stop at 63d Street and Stony Island. She testified that as she got to the corner of 63d and Dorchester, the defendant put a cold object to her neck and said, "Stop, don't move. I will blow your damn brains out." The defendant ordered her to blindfold herself with what appeared to be a dirty white sock. She was then forced to walk 1 1/2 blocks with the defendant, who had one hand on the collar of her coat and the other hand holding a cold object to the side of her throat. They approached a car, and when she complained that she could not see, the defendant pushed her into the car, hit her on the back of her head and told her to act like she could see, if she wanted to live. The defendant then forced her onto the floor of the car on the passenger's side, under the dashboard. He warned Lorraine not to raise her head. He said he had a .32 and he would blow her brains out. He then drove off. When Lorraine tried to strike up a conversation, and asked the defendant his name, he hit her on the back of her head and told her she was talking too much.

Lorraine testified that the defendant gave her a pencil and a matchbook with which to write her phone number, warning her that it better be right or he would take her into the forest preserve and blow her brains out. She wrote her name and telephone number, reversing the last two digits in order to protect herself, were he to look for her again, but so she would still be able to repeat the numbers if asked.

The defendant stopped the car and allowed Lorraine to remove her blindfold. She told him that she was going to a party and that people would be expecting her. Again the defendant hit her on the back of the head, saying that she talked too much. He then ordered her to take off her clothes. She started to do so, but the defendant said she was going too slow and pulled her blouse and bra off, causing her elbow to accidentally hit him in the face. The defendant then hit her across the face and took her slacks and panties off, throwing the clothes in the back seat. He then told her to lie down on the front seat and he positioned her so one of her legs was on top of the seat and the other leg was under the steering wheel. He then pulled his pants down and forced her to engage in sexual intercourse. She begged him to get off of her and stop because he was hurting her, but he would not stop. After intercourse the defendant forced her to perform fellatio on him. She did not act immediately, so he grabbed her by her hair and pulled her face down. He held her by the hair, moving her head for about five minutes. He then told her to lie down on her stomach and attempted to sodomize her. She started crying and begged him to stop. He then forced her to perform sexual intercourse again. When he was finished, Lorraine tried to escape by opening the door, but he grabbed her by the hair and hit her on her head, saying that he knew she was going to try that. He then forced her into another act of fellatio. When he was finished, he grabbed her hand and forced her to stick two of her fingers up his nose and then made her suck her fingers. He then stuck his own fingers up his nose and made her suck them. Lorraine testified that he told her to suck them and suck them good. He then forced her to lie down on the seat and engaged in sexual intercourse once again. When he was finished he told her that she had done a good job and she could put her clothes on. She had put on only her blouse when the defendant kicked open the door, threw her out of the car and tossed her clothes out.

The defendant drove away at a high speed, but Lorraine was able to observe the license plate number of the car, VX-380. She noted that she was missing her gloves and panties.

Lorraine started running, and the first street sign she saw was 71st and Clyde. She ran to Mrs. Lucy Patterson's house, where the party was. Mrs. Patterson testified that Lorraine came into her house that night with dishevelled hair, crying and breathing heavily. Lorraine saw her friend, Sabrina Bartlett, who led her to the washroom. Mrs. Patterson observed Lorraine constantly crying and shaking. She was incoherent. Because her own telephone was out of order, Mrs. Patterson told Sabrina to take Lorraine to her house which was two doors away and call the police.

Sabrina Bartlett testified that, while they were in the washroom, Lorraine had told her that she had been raped. Lorraine would not answer Mrs. Patterson's questions, but only kept crying. Sabrina then called the police.

When the police arrived, Lorraine told them what had happened. A city of Chicago police officer observed that Lorraine was being supported by Sabrina and that she was trembling, crying, speaking erratically and that she was having a hard time catching her breath. The police took her to Jackson Park Hospital, where she was examined. On the way to the hospital, the officer ran a check on the license plate number VX-380. After leaving Lorraine at the hospital, the officer proceeded to 8200 South Harper where he saw the car with those plates. He waited there for an investigator to arrive. At the hospital, Lorraine spoke with a city of Chicago police investigator and then went home.

The investigator left the hospital and went to 8200 South Harper, where he saw the car with license number VX-380. He saw that there was a pair of panties on the floor below the steering wheel as well as a pair of brown mittens. He then went to the residence at 8200 South Harper and the door was answered by the defendant, who told the investigator that the car was his. The defendant was then read his rights and placed under arrest.

The investigator then went to Lorraine's house and brought her to the police station, on 51st Street and Wentworth Avenue, where she saw a lineup of five men. She picked out the defendant as the man who raped her. The panties and the gloves that were retrieved from the defendant's car were shown to her and she identified them as her own. The investigator also received from the defendant a matchbook with the name Lorraine and seven digits, 324-6491, written inside it. The investigator testified that he saw the matchbook personally and the number written on it was identical to Lorraine's parents' phone number except that the last two digits were reversed.

The defendant testified in his own defense. He admitted having a prior attempt armed robbery conviction. He testified that he had seen Lorraine Liddell on two prior occasions, in October or November of 1978 at the Bobcat Lounge, located at 78th Street and Racine Avenue. On the second occasion he took her to the Zanzibar Hotel at 81st Street and Stony Island, registered in his own name, and had sex with her. On December 8, 1978, while driving his car, he saw Lorraine walking down 63d Street. He offered to drive her to the party. The defendant stopped the car and they had a conversation. They decided to have sex in the car. The defendant then parked the car near 75th Street and Clyde, where they had sexual intercourse. After that, the defendant drove Lorraine to 75th Street and Merrill.

On cross-examination, the defendant was asked to name any individuals to whom he had introduced Lorraine Liddell or any individuals who were present when he allegedly met her at the Bobcat Lounge, and the defendant did name a few of such persons.

Clyde Rapier, the clerk and recordkeeper at the Zanzibar Hotel, testified that everyone who stays at the hotel must fill out a registration card. When asked to look back at the registration cards from October 21, 1978, through December 8, 1978, Rapier testified that none of the cards contained defendant Turner's name, driver's license number or social security number.

During closing arguments, the State mentioned the fact that there were no witnesses that had testified that they had seen the defendant with Lorraine Liddell prior to December 8, 1978. After deliberations, the ...

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