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People v. Boyce





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ANTHONY SCOTILLO, Judge, presiding.


After a jury trial, John Boyce (defendant) was found guilty of rape, robbery, armed robbery and aggravated kidnapping. The trial court sentenced defendant to three concurrent 16-year sentences for rape, armed robbery and aggravated kidnapping. Defendant appeals.

Prior to trial, a hearing was held on defendant's motion to quash his arrest and suppress physical evidence. Defendant testified that, in his opinion, he was not violating any law at the time of his arrest at approximately 8:15 a.m. on September 15, 1977. The police took a blue denim jacket and a starter's pistol from him at that time.

The arresting officer, Investigator Michael O'Sullivan, testified he observed defendant at approximately 8 a.m. on September 15, 1977. He stated defendant was stopped for preliminary questioning because defendant fit the physical characteristics of the suspect in a pattern of six rapes which the officer was investigating.

Officer O'Sullivan testified that the day before the arrest he read six police reports in which rape victims gave descriptions of their assailant. These offenses occurred from August 23, 1977, to September 13, 1977, and from 5:35 a.m. to 10 a.m., with one at 8:30 p.m. All were in the same area, no more than four blocks apart. In each case the assailant was a Negro. Five victims approximated the age of their attacker as being about 20 and one estimated it at 17 years. Five reports showed the attacker as being 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall with one fixing his height at 5 feet 2 inches. All six reports described him as having brown eyes and black hair. The latest report stated his hair was processed. Three used the word "dark" in describing his complexion and three said "medium." The reports all stated the assailant was armed with a handgun. All described him as wearing a blue jacket or a blue jean outfit. One described her assailant as wearing a "white" hat and another described his hat as "silver."

Investigator O'Sullivan stated defendant appeared to be a male Negro, 5 feet 5 inches tall and of medium build. Defendant had long processed black hair and wore a light blue denim jacket and a silver hat. Investigator O'Sullivan saw defendant in the area in which the six rapes had occurred at a time "reasonably close" to the time of five of the six rapes.

Investigator O'Sullivan and his partner questioned defendant as to his name, address and current activities. The officers then conducted a protective "frisk" of defendant because all of the six police reports had indicated the assailants had been armed. The officers found a silver-colored starter's pistol in defendant's shirt pocket. Defendant was then arrested. The motion to quash the arrest and to suppress physical evidence was denied. A pretrial hearing was also held on defendant's motion to suppress identification testimony. The motion was denied.

At trial, complainant testified she was accosted by defendant at approximately 6 a.m. on August 23, 1977. Defendant placed an object in her back and said, "Keep quiet, bitch, or I'll blow your back off." As defendant then walked complainant through an alley and into a nearby basement, complainant was able to observe defendant's face. Inside the basement, she was ordered to lie down while defendant searched her purse. Complainant observed defendant was holding a gun. Defendant took money and food stamps from her purse. Defendant then proceeded to search complainant's person and ordered her to undress. Complainant complied. Defendant then raped her twice. Complainant was able to observe the pistol held by defendant. As defendant left the basement, she was again able to observe his face.

Complainant then returned home and notified the police. An officer testified he accompanied her to the scene of the rape and then took her to the hospital. Medical evidence indicating the presence of sperm was stipulated to by the parties.

Complainant further testified that on September 15, 1977, she identified defendant's photograph from a group of over 100 photographs at the police station. She subsequently identified defendant at a lineup. In open court, complainant again identified defendant as her assailant. She also identified the starter's pistol seized from defendant as the weapon held by defendant during the offense.

For defendant, LeRoy Johnson testified he owned a restaurant on Madison Street and Laramie in Chicago. Defendant was in his employ on August 23, 1977. Johnson had no personal knowledge whether defendant was actually at work on that day.

Defendant's wife testified defendant left home at 5:30 a.m. on August 23, 1977, to go to work. He did not wear a jacket on that day.

Defendant testified he left his home at 5:30 a.m. on August 23, 1977, to go to work at Johnson's restaurant. He did not wear a jacket on that day. He arrived at work at 6 a.m. He did not leave the restaurant until 3 p.m. On the day he was arrested, he was wearing a silver cap and a blue jacket. He had borrowed the latter from his brother. Defendant denied the starter's pistol belonged to him. He contended he had been in the process of returning it to its proper owner, either his wife's brother or a cousin, when arrested. He categorically denied his guilt. Defendant also admitted he had previously been convicted of a felony.

On rebuttal, LeRoy Johnson testified defendant had been hired to work from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. A surrebuttal witness, Joyce Jones, testified she had recommended defendant for his job at Johnson's restaurant. She could not recall whether ...

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