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People v. Cross

OPINION FILED MAY 8, 1981.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

KENT C. CROSS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ROBERT L. SKLODOWSKI, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE MEJDA DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Following a jury trial, defendant was convicted of the offense of aggravated battery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 12-4(a)) and sentenced to a term of six years. Defendant appeals. We affirm.

The issues raised on appeal are: (1) whether the testimonial evidence of broken sperm found in the victim was properly admitted; and (2) whether certain remarks made during the prosecution's closing argument were improper, inflammatory and prejudicial.

Defendant was charged by information with unlawful restraint and aggravated battery. The victim was 22 years old at the time. She had previously attended a school for retarded children. At the time of the occurrence, she was employed at the Levee Rehabilitation Center.

Prior to defendant's trial, a competency hearing was held at which it was determined that the victim was competent to testify. The State then announced that it planned to prove that broken sperm were found in the victim by a doctor who conducted a pelvic examination of her later in the afternoon of the day of the occurrence. Defendant made a motion in limine prior to trial to exclude the evidence of this pelvic examination. The trial court did not rule on the defendant's motion at that time. During trial defendant renewed his motion in limine to exclude this evidence. The State contended that it was admissible to show motive. The motion was denied.

At trial, the following pertinent evidence was adduced during the case presented by the State. The victim testified that on Friday, April 6, 1979, at approximately 7:30 a.m. she left her home on North Greenview Avenue in Chicago to go to the Levee Rehabilitation Center. As she walked down Greenview Avenue, she was approached by defendant, whom she had never seen before, who asked her name and destination. Defendant offered her $10 if she would follow him. She voluntarily accompanied defendant to a building at Bosworth and Howard Streets.

Shortly after entering the building, the victim sat down to rest. Defendant grabbed her wrist and began pulling her towards a door. She resisted and defendant, calling her "a stupid broad," struck her in the face with his fists. The victim, who had begun to scream and cry, was warned by defendant that if she did not "shut up" he would break her neck. Defendant struck her several times. During her testimony at trial, the victim could not recall any events which may have transpired from the point of her beating until she was encountered by two policemen in front of the building shortly after 8:30 a.m. However, Daniel Boudreau, one of the policemen, testified that he looked into a hallway on the fourth floor of the building and found the victim lying on the floor in front of Apartment 412. Her eyes and mouth were bleeding; there was a laceration on her nose and blood on the floor next to her. She had bruises on her arms and one of her teeth appeared missing. There was fresh blood on the carpeting, on the wall, and on the door of Apartment 412. He attempted to question her but she did not respond initially. After a second unsuccessful attempt to question her, the police officers tried to raise her to her feet. The victim told the officers to leave her alone. Officer Boudreau then observed defendant standing in the hallway across from Apartment 412. Defendant told him that the victim was his girlfriend and she had fallen down the stairs. The victim did not tell the officers that defendant had beaten her. She and defendant exited the building arm in arm. Defendant did not use force on her when they exited the building. Officer Boudreau confronted the victim again and asked her if she had fallen down the stairs. The victim responded affirmatively. Officer Boudreau examined the third, fourth and fifth floor stairways in the building and found no blood on these stairways.

The victim further testified that after leaving the building she and defendant went to a drugstore where defendant purchased peroxide and cotton balls. After making the purchase, they took a bus to a building some distance away. Defendant took her to an apartment located on the 13th floor of the building. The apartment was occupied by a white female and two black men. Defendant led the victim into the bathroom and told her to remove her clothing. She complied, removing all of her clothing except for the underpants. Defendant brought her other clothes, a red plaid skirt and a pink shirt, and gave her a wash cloth. At defendant's direction she washed her face. Defendant then wiped the inside of her mouth and her eyes. The victim washed near her vagina because it was "wet and sticky." While these events transpired, defendant told her his name was Kent. She was then permitted to telephone her mother and her employment supervisor. She told her mother that "they were getting me cleaned up. And take me to the hospital." Defendant also spoke with her mother but he identified himself by a name other than Kent. The victim attempted to make a second telephone call to her mother but defendant cut her off.

Defendant and the victim then left the building and took a bus down to Devon Avenue where they exited the bus. Defendant bought her some milk, after which both took a number 151 bus. While defendant remained on the bus, she exited and walked home.

Her stepmother testified that the victim was terrified upon arriving home at approximately 1:15 p.m. that afternoon and was not wearing her own clothes. She was carrying her own clothes in a paper bag. The stepmother called the police who took her and the victim to the emergency room of St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, where she was treated by Dr. Rock and Dr. Jacobs.

Dr. Rock testified to the severe bruises about the victim's face. It was his opinion that such trauma could only be consistent with a fall down the stairs if she had landed only on her face. Dr. Rock had also examined her pelvic area, tested, analyzed and found broken sperm. Such breakage could have been caused by contact with water. The sperm could have been in her body for up to 48 hours in the condition in which they were found during examination.

Similarly, Dr. Jacobs testified to the contusions surrounding her eyes and mouth. He took X rays which showed the presence of an undisplaced fracture of her nasal bone. It was his opinion that although it would be possible that these bruises could be consistent with a fall down a flight of stairs, it was not likely.

Mrs. Miriam Caporusso, a microanalyst for the Chicago Police Department, testified that she examined vaginal and rectal slides which had been made during the medical examination. Her examination revealed the presence of possible human spermatozoa, but as no intact spermatozoa were revealed, she could not conclusively say that human sperm were present.

The victim testified that following his arrest she identified defendant from a five-man lineup as ...


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