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Guzzardo v. Bengston

decided: March 13, 1981.

JOHN P. GUZZARDO, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
PAUL J. BENGSTON, SHERIFF OF WINNEBAGO COUNTY, ILLINOIS, AND HONORABLE JOHN W. NIELSEN, JUDGE, 17TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, WINNEBAGO COUNTY, ILLINOIS, RESPONDENTS .



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division, No. 79C20092. Honorable Stanley J. Roszkowski, Judge .

Before Sprecher and Bauer, Circuit Judges, and Campbell, Senior District Judge.*fn*

Author: Campbell

John P. Guzzardo appeals from the District Court's entry of summary judgment on his petition for habeas corpus relief. Guzzardo's petition raised three Constitutional issues. He claims he was denied his right to confrontation under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments; that his trial counsel was so ineffective as to fall below the minimum standard of representation required under the Sixth Amendment; and that the statute upon which his conviction rests is unconstitutionally vague on its face. The District Court found petitioner's arguments meritless and entered summary judgment denying the writ. We affirm.

Petitioner was convicted of pandering, in violation of Illinois Rev.Stat. Ch. 38 ยง 11-16 (1975). That statute provides that anyone who "arranges or offers to arrange a situation in which a person may practice prostitution" commits pandering, a Class 4 felony. Rockford Police first suspected petitioner when a Ms. Robbins, a prostitution suspect, made certain remarks suggesting that prostitution was ongoing at the "Naughty Lady Lounge," which was owned by petitioner. These remarks were made to Detective Gulbranson who filed a routine report of the conversation.

Shortly thereafter Rockford Police were interviewing a Ms. Wooten regarding prostitution activities in the area. She implicated petitioner in organizing prostitution at a Rockford hotel. Police asked Wooten to meet with the petitioner at his bar and tape-record the conversation. Wooten agreed to do so. While the tape-recording proved inaudible, Wooten testified at trial that petitioner offered to provide her with a room at a local hotel to practice prostitution in return for a payment of $5.00 per customer.

Prior to trial, the trial court conducted a brief hearing to resolve certain evidentiary questions. The State sought to introduce Detective Gulbranson's testimony relating to his earlier conversation with Ms. Robbins regarding prostitution at the Naughty Lady Lounge. The Court permitted testimony solely on the fact that a conversation had taken place and a report filed, but not on the substance of the conversation.

At trial the following colloquy between the prosecutor and Gulbranson took place:

Question: An informal report about what?

Gulbranson: About her conversations.

Question: What was the purpose in leaving that report? (objection overruled)

Gulbranson: It was reference (to) prostitution inside the building.

Question: What was your purpose in leaving the report?

Gulbranson: To be followed up on.

Defense counsel immediately moved for a mistrial, which was denied. The Court did, however, instruct the jury to ...


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