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People v. Szudy

OPINION FILED AUGUST 13, 1982.

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

v.

DENNIS SZUDY, A/K/A ANTHONY PEPLINSKI, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Thomas Fitzgerald, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE WILSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Following a jury trial defendant, Dennis Szudy, was convicted of rape and unlawful restraint (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, pars. 11-1, 11-3) and sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment on the rape charge. On appeal, defendant contends that (1) the trial court committed reversible error in allowing the State to elicit testimony that the complaining witness had identified defendant's photograph out of a book at the police station, thereby indicating to the jury that defendant had a prior criminal record; and (2) defendant was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We affirm.

The complaining witness, T.F., was 16 years old on March 24, 1978. On that evening she and a friend, Michael Browning, took public transportation to the Aragon Ballroom to see a concert. When they arrived they found that the concert was sold out, so they went next door to the Flamingo Cafe for several drinks. T.F. testified that they were asked to leave the cafe following an argument with a Spanish lady when Browning began to dance without his shoes. Browning testified that the lady did not strike T.F. and he denied telling a defense investigator otherwise.

T.F. and Browning left the cafe at 10 or 10:15 p.m. and started hitchhiking. A car with four males pulled up and let them in, Browning in the back seat and T.F. in the front. T.F. and Browning both identified defendant as the driver of the car.

When the automobile reached the 111th Street exit, where T.F. and Browning had asked to be taken, the driver drove on past and told them that Browning would be taken home first. They exited on 167th Street and Crawford and turned into a schoolyard where defendant told Browning to get out of the car. He was pushed out by the two males in the back seat and knocked to the ground. The car then sped off with T.F. inside.

Browning testified that he at first flagged down a car so he could look for the assailants' automobile but when he did not see it, he walked home. He did not call the police when he got there. He planned to call T.F. to see if she had returned home but instead fell asleep until noon the next day. He called a friend of T.F.'s that afternoon but did not speak to the police or T.F. until two days after the incident.

T.F. testified that after Browning was pushed out of the automobile she started crying and the driver told her to get into the back seat. He told the men in the back to remove her clothing. She testified that they removed her clothes from the waist down. Each of the men in turn had sexual intercourse with T.F., while one man held her down at all times. After the third man had finished he told T.F. that the driver had a gun and would hurt her if she did not keep quiet. While the driver had intercourse with T.F., one of the passengers drove the car. Afterwards, the driver told T.F. to get into the front seat and he ordered the other three men to leave.

The driver and T.F. drove around for awhile and he stopped once in an alley to let her urinate. When they resumed driving he told her he was a "hit man" with the Mafia and stole cars. He asked her age and started to apologize because she was so young. He stopped the car and then had sexual intercourse with her again. She testified that she was crying and trying to stop him from raping her.

Once again they began to drive and T.F. eventually fell asleep for a time. When she awakened, defendant asked her where she would like to go and she told him 105th and Western. When he let her out of the car, he warned her to keep her "mouth shut" or he would "blow her and her mother away." She then ran to her boyfriend's house nearby.

Harold Reeve, T.F.'s boyfriend, testified that his father let her in and went back to bed. When Reeve saw her at about 7 a.m. on March 25, she was lying face down on the couch in his home, crying. He saw that she had a blackened and swollen eye. She told him that she had been raped and they talked awhile as he tried to comfort her. They left Reeve's house and went to breakfast.

T.F. testified that Reeve had paid for breakfast because she had no money. After breakfast, however, she bought a pair of sunglasses. Reeve testified that he did not pay for the sunglasses.

Reeve took T.F. home at noon, and she and her mother went to the hospital. There, T.F. spoke with two police officers and underwent tests and examination. Later, she identified a photograph of defendant from a book at the police station. On April 6, she identified defendant in a lineup.

T.F. further testified that the driver had struck her twice. She said that the others in the car had referred to him as "Dennis." In addition to her black eye, she said that she had a mark on her chest and mouth.

The examining doctor, Chowdary Adusmilli, testified that T.F.'s left eye was blackened and that the right side of her chest was bruised. He found no severe stretching of the labia, no injury to the hymen, and no trauma to the vagina. Stipulated medical evidence indicated ...


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