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People v. Brown





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JOHN J. CROWLEY, Judge, presiding.


Following a jury trial, defendants Raymond and Lori Brown were convicted of indecent liberties with a child. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 11-4.) The trial court sentenced Raymond Brown *fn1 to 5 years imprisonment and Lori Brown to a period of probation. On appeal, defendant contends that: (1) the prosecutor committed reversible error by eliciting testimony from complainant as to psychiatric treatment she received after the charged offense, by eliciting testimony of other offenses allegedly committed by defendant, and by inquiring on cross-examination about the contents of allegedly pornographic films that had been specifically excluded from evidence by the trial judge; (2) the court committed reversible error in barring the defense from introducing testimony that complainant had previously claimed to a friend that she had engaged in sexual intercourse with the devil; (3) defendant was deprived of effective assistance of counsel through trial counsel's failure to move to suppress evidence seized in defendant's apartment during a warrantless, nonexigent arrest and search; and (4) defendant was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

On February 1, 1978, complainant, Rebecca B., who was then 13 years old, was taken to the psychiatric ward of a hospital by her mother. She called police, who were not able to speak to Rebecca until February 20, 1978, because of her hospitalization. Upon investigation of complainant's charges against defendants police conducted a surveillance of defendants' apartment from April 1 to April 5, 1978.

On the evening of April 5, 1978, five police officers knocked on the door of the Browns' apartment and announced their office. When Raymond Brown answered the door the police asked his name and then arrested him and advised him of his rights. They also arrested Lori Brown, who was present in the apartment. They searched the apartment and recovered several pornographic films, a projector, and various sexual devices. A police evidence technician then photographed the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. The Browns were charged with having committed indecent liberties with complainant on January 6, 1978.

At trial, Rebecca testified that in September of 1977 she was living with her mother. She met defendants in October of that year when she went to their apartment with a schoolmate, known as Nina B., to baby-sit.

Two weeks later, Rebecca returned to the apartment with Nina and she started going to the Browns' apartment once or twice a week.

Complainant further testified that in mid-November of 1977, she was in the Browns' apartment with Nina, Raymond, and Lori Brown, talking and smoking reefers. The four of them went into the bedroom and watched a film, "Snow White," and then a pornographic film. After the film, Raymond and Nina had sexual intercourse on the bed while she and Lori Brown were also on the bed.

Rebecca further testified that she and Raymond had sexual intercourse and then Raymond had intercourse with Nina again. Complainant stated that she went to the apartment three or four times a week between mid-November and January 6, 1978, and stayed overnight 2 or 3 nights a week. On those nights Raymond, Lori, and Nina were also present. Rebecca further testified that she had sexual relations with Lori Brown prior to January 6, 1978. On the evening of January 6, 1978, she and Nina, Raymond, Lori, and another girl, were drinking and smoking reefers when Raymond showed them some pornographic films in the bedroom. Rebecca testified that she had seen such films 20 or 25 times before. The prosecution then showed the jury one of the films, which the complainant identified as one that she had seen at the Browns' apartment on January 6, 1978 and other times.

Rebecca testified that after the movies were shown, Nina had sexual intercourse with Raymond and then she did also. Then Raymond and Nina performed acts of oral sex, after which Raymond put on a dildo and penetrated Nina's vagina and anus. After that, Raymond directed Nina and then Rebecca to put their mouths on his penis. Then Lori Brown put her mouth on Nina's vagina and then Rebecca's. Raymond and Lori performed other sexual acts that day. Complainant testified that she left the next day and never returned, although Raymond and Lori telephoned and asked her to return.

Further testifying, Rebecca stated that she went to school on February 1, 1978, and that her mother removed her from school and took her to Illinois Masonic Hospital, where she stayed for two weeks in the psychiatric ward. Over defense objections, Rebecca stated that she was currently receiving psychiatric treatment but that she had not been receiving it prior to February 1, 1978.

Complainant identified several photographs of the Browns' apartment and the projector used to show the films.

On cross-examination, Rebecca testified that from October of 1977 to January 6, 1978, Nina was living with the Browns. She denied that she was in love with Nina and denied that she had asked Nina to live with her and her mother. Defense counsel asked Rebecca if she were a witch and she answered in the negative before the court sustained the State's objection. Counsel attempted to further inquire along the same lines but the court again sustained objections. During a conference outside of the jury's presence, the court ruled that the questions were irrelevant and improper.

In further cross-examination, Rebecca testified that she had had a social worker during the time she was going to the Browns' apartment but that she never told the social worker about the Browns. To explain her absences from school so she could go to the Browns, Rebecca wrote notes that were supposed to be from her mother. She admitted that the notes contained lies. She did not tell her mother about the occurrences at the Browns' apartment.

Next to testify was Chicago police officer Patrick Deady, who had spoken to complainant's mother on February 1, 1978, and then had begun the investigation. Officer Deady talked to complainant on February 20, 1978, and a few weeks later he interviewed Lisa A. and Nina B. Subsequently he began the surveillance of the Browns' apartment. On April 5, 1978, he and four other officers arrested Raymond and Lori Brown in their apartment. He found a projector, sexual devices, reams and films in the bedroom. He saw dirty clothes, garbage, and excrement strewn around.

He further testified that one of the officers thoroughly searched the apartment, recovering 41 films, some cartoons and some adult pornography. Further, Officer Deady stated that complainant had told him that she had engaged in sexual relations with the Browns 70 or 80 times.

The State introduced into evidence, over defense objection, the film identified by complainant and viewed by the jury, two photographs of the bedroom, and the projector. The court did not allow into evidence six photographs of the apartment, stating that they had no probative value, nor did the court admit several films recovered from the apartment. The State then rested.

The first defense witness was Nina B., 15 years old at the time. She had known Raymond and Lori Brown for 4 1/2 years and had introduced Rebecca to them. From October 1977 to January 1978 Nina lived with the Browns. She testified that during that time Rebecca would come over to watch TV or listen to the radio and occasionally spent the night. She further testified that at the beginning of November 1977, Rebecca asked her to live with her, but Nina declined. Approximately a month later, complainant again asked her and when she refused, threatened to make trouble for the Browns. Nina then told Rebecca to leave the house and that she no longer wanted to be friends.

Testifying further, Nina said that she did not see Rebecca again until a couple of days before Christmas vacation, when Rebecca apologized. Nina then invited Rebecca to a Christmas Eve party at the Browns' apartment. During the party, Rebecca told Nina that she loved her and wanted to make love to her. Nina was shocked and left the room. Since that night, Nina stated, she has not spoken to Rebecca.

Nina denied that the Browns ever showed her stag films or gave her wine or marijuana. On one occasion when the Browns were out, Rebecca found a film and they watched it. Nina denied that she or Rebecca ever had sexual relations with Raymond or Lori Brown and further stated that at school Rebecca had a reputation as a liar.

On cross-examination Nina stated that she had lived with the Browns from October of 1977 to January 1978. She did not know if they were married and had only seen their bedroom one time. She also stated that Rebecca had visited the house only 3 or 4 times and had never spent the night.

Nina further testified that a caseworker from the Department of Children and Family Services removed her from the Browns' home in mid-January 1978. She denied that Rebecca had come to the apartment on January 6, 1978. Further, she testified that upon questioning by police officers in April of 1978 she told a female officer that complainant had said that she would "get" the Browns. Nina denied telling the officer that she had seen pornographic films, taken speed, grass and downers. Nina further denied telling the police officer that she had performed sex acts with Raymond Brown or that he had asked her to make pornographic movies or be a prostitute. She further denied telling the female officer that Raymond Brown had threatened to kill her if she told anyone about it.

Lori Brown next testified for the defense. She denied ever showing stag films to Rebecca or having sexual relations with her or giving her wine or marijuana. To her knowledge, Raymond had never had sexual relations with Nina or Rebecca.

When questioned about her arrest on April 5, 1978, Lori testified that when she went to answer the doorbell a police officer "showed his badge and identified himself and was followed into my home by several other police officers and policewomen." They told the Browns they were under arrest and then "a couple of police officers started going through [their] home pulling things out of the closet, emptying drawers." She also testified that the photographs of the apartment were taken after the police had pulled things out of the closets and drawers. Lori admitted that Raymond kept stag films and sexual devices in their home.

On cross-examination Lori testified that she had met Raymond Brown in 1975 when she was 16 and he was approximately 43. They did not marry but started living together. They had a child in June 1976. Lori testified that she and Raymond looked at adult films alone. She also admitted that they had dildos and various sexual devices. She also testified that other young girls came over to the apartment during the period of October and November 1977.

Raymond Brown next testified that he was 48 years old and that in 1977 he lived with his "wife" and daughter. He had seen Rebecca a couple of times at the apartment but had not talked to her. He denied that there had been any marijuana or liquor in his home from 1975 through the present and explained that he was a recovering alcoholic who ...

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