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People v. Jordan

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 30, 1981.

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

v.

LEWIS A. JORDAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Macon County; the Hon. RODNEY A. SCOTT, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE MILLS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied January 28, 1982.

Aggravated battery by an 18-year-old man upon a 66-year-old woman.

Bench trial.

Guilty.

Two years.

We affirm.

On appeal, Jordan argues that he was not proved guilty of aggravated battery beyond a reasonable doubt because the State failed to prove that he knew his victim was 60 years of age or over, and because the evidence did not indicate the victim had received great bodily harm. Defendant also contends that he is entitled to 18 days' additional credit for time served in jail prior to his conviction on this offense.

The facts are not in dispute. On December 7, 1980, 66-year-old Eloise Lord was at the Vanco Gas Station in Decatur. She had gone into the gas station for a "bottle of pop" while her daughter-in-law purchased gasoline. Jordan was standing at the counter when she went to pay for the soda, and he was "talking filthy" to his friends there. Her daughter-in-law had joined her, and the two stood for approximately 20 minutes, waiting to complete the purchase. Finally, Mrs. Lord said, "Let's put the pop down, we don't have to listen to this." Both women testified that Jordan turned toward Mrs. Lord, used some "dirty" language, and shoved her. She got up, took some steps toward Jordan, and was shoved back down again. Mrs. Randall — the daughter-in-law — recalled that, after seeing this, she told Jordan to stop, and Jordan kicked her in the leg. After kicking the daughter-in-law, Jordan hit Mrs. Lord in the stomach with his fist as she rose, and hit her in the face as she started out the front door. Two other witnesses corroborated the testimony that Jordan pushed Mrs. Lord down and hit her with his fist.

The court made a finding of guilt and later conducted a sentencing hearing. The presentence report included the information that Jordan had spent 10 hours in custody immediately after his arrest, had then been released with a notice to appear, had been rearrested on February 23, 1981, when he failed to appear, and had been incarcerated from then until March 12, 1981. At the close of the hearing, Jordan was sentenced to 2 years in the Department of Corrections, with credit for 1 day served being given.

I

Defendant first argues that he was not proved guilty of aggravated battery beyond a reasonable doubt because the State failed to prove he had knowledge of Mrs. Lord's age before he battered her. The defendant was charged with aggravated battery under section 12-4(b)(10) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 12-4(b)(10)), for pushing Mrs. Lord, a 66-year-old woman, to the ground and striking her in the face with his fist. He challenged the constitutionality of that section in a pretrial motion, asserting that the statute involved an irrational classification and failed to require knowledge by the defendant that the battery victim was 60 years of age or over. The trial court rejected that argument and found a rational basis for the classification because the legislature intended to protect the elderly by enacting section 12-4(b)(10) and that prior knowledge by the defendant of the victim's age was not an element of the offense of aggravated battery under that section.

Section 12-4(b) describes that conduct which will make the offense of simple battery an aggravated battery and clearly enunciates that persons engaged in certain work activities are to be protected. Those sections protecting the various occupations also require that a defendant be aware that his victim is a member of a protected class before he can be convicted of aggravated battery, i.e., "knows the individual harmed to be" a member of a protected class. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 12-4(b)(3) through (7), (9).) These sections specifically require the State to prove that the defendant knowingly inflicted bodily harm upon his victim and that he knew the protected status of his victim at the time of the attack. See People v. Litch (1972), 4 Ill. App.3d 788, 281 N.E.2d 745.

• 1 Sections 12-4(b)(8) and (10), however, do not require knowledge by the defendant that his victim is a member of a protected class. In section 12-4(b)(8), aggravated battery is committed if the battery occurs on or about a public way, public property, or a public place of accommodation or amusement, and in section 12-4(b)(10), aggravated battery is committed if the victim battered is 60 years of age or older. The statutory language defining these offenses omits the phrase "knows the individual harmed to be" which appears in those sections protecting classes of persons because of their occupation. The legislative history of section 12-4(b)(10) clearly shows that prior knowledge by the defendant of his victim's age was not intended to be an element of the offense. The Illinois House floor debates concerning the passage of Senate Bill 198, the precursor of section 12-4(b)(10), reflect that an amendment requiring section 12-4(b)(10) include the language "knows the individual harmed to be" was presented and rejected. (See House Floor Debates, 81st General Assembly, 1979-80, microfiche No. 67-73.) At the time of the vote on the bill, discussion on the floor indicated that section 12-4(b)(10) was to protect senior citizens who were defenseless and often the prey of muggers, and that the person who sought to attack another did so at the risk that his victim would be 60 years old. In debate, the legislators compared the lack of scienter in section 12-4(b)(10) to other criminal statutes which do not require the State to prove that the defendant was aware of his victim's age, e.g., section 11-4 (indecent liberties with a child) and section 11-5 (contributing to the sexual delinquency of a child). To so require — the ...


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