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People v. Sanchez





Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. James M. Schreier, Judge, presiding.


Defendants Cresenciano Sanchez and Jose Garcia Huerte (Garcia) were each charged with aggravated kidnaping, rape, and indecent liberties with a child. The charges stem from an incident in which the defendants, aged 26 and 30, were alleged to have forcibly abducted a 14-year-old complainant from a street corner in the vicinity of her home in Chicago and then raped her at an area in Illinois near the Indiana border. Following separate jury trials, Sanchez was acquitted of the charge of indecent liberties with a child, but neither jury was able to reach a verdict on any other charge.

Prior to retrial the State filed a motion to consolidate defendants' cases for a joint trial. At the hearing on this motion defendants alleged that their defenses were antagonistic because both defendants had testified at the first trial and that the testimony of each inculpated the other. The State conceded that Garcia had made a statement inculpating Sanchez but promised to refrain from introducing it at a subsequent joint trial. The trial court concluded that separate trials were not warranted and granted the State's motion.

Following their second trial on the charges of aggravated kidnaping and rape before a single jury, Garcia and Sanchez were acquitted of kidnaping and were found guilty of rape, and were sentenced to respective sentences of 10 and 9 1/2 years imprisonment.

On appeal, defendants contend that: (1) they were not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury of the need for corroborating evidence; (3) the trial court erred in denying defendants' motion for appointment of an expert witness; and (4) the trial court erred by granting the State's motion for joinder of the defendants' cases for trial.

At the second trial, the complainant testified that at approximately 4 p.m. on April 3, 1978, she was waiting to meet her sister at the intersection of Damen, Milwaukee and North Avenues. A red Mustang car pulled up to the curb where she was standing. Garcia was driving while Sanchez rode on the passenger side. Sanchez asked her if she wanted a ride, to which she replied "No," whereupon defendants drove away.

After the car departed, complainant went inside a corner drugstore, stood there for a while, then returned to the corner to wait for her sister. After she returned to the street, defendants returned in the red Mustang. Sanchez left the car, approached her and pressed a sharp object against her side and told her to get in the car. When complainant refused, he pushed it a little harder and told her, again, to get into the car, causing her to get into the car's front seat. Sanchez then got into the rear seat. Although there were numerous people on the street, complainant made no attempt to cry out or call for help.

Once in the car, Garcia asked complainant her name but she refused to answer. The car then pulled away from the curb as Sanchez held the sharp object to her side.

Complainant related that defendants drove her to a liquor store where Garcia got out of the car, saying "Don't try anything because it wouldn't work." Garcia went into the store. Complainant testified that it was at this time that Sanchez, seated behind her, showed her the knife he had been holding to her side. She described it as a black- and red-handled switchblade which appeared sharp. Garcia returned to the car with a bag containing beer, and they departed in the car.

As they were driving Garcia tried to make her drink some beer by pushing it into her mouth. Garcia drove the car around side streets while the defendants each drank six beers, prompting them to later stop at another liquor store. There, Garcia got out, warned complainant, "Don't forget, don't try anything," and entered the store to purchase more beer.

When Garcia returned, they drove again, first traveling through side streets, then to an expressway. At this time it was starting to get dark. They later exited the expressway and went to a house, later identified as Garcia's residence in East Chicago, Indiana. They arrived in the dark. There, defendants told complainant to get into a parked pickup truck outfitted with a camper. This vehicle was owned by Sanchez.

Complainant testified that the group then departed the house with Sanchez driving and complainant seated in the middle of the front seat between the defendants. They proceeded down a dirt road, where the complainant observed a drive-in movie and a truck stop, and stopped at a muddy, deserted field. Although she did not know where they were at the time, it was later determined that they were stopped at Wolf Lake, in Illinois, near the Indiana border.

Complainant saw no one else at the lake area, and when the truck came to a stop, defendants ordered her to get out. It was dark out, and she did not know what time it was. Complainant got out of the van and tried to run away from defendants, but Garcia chased her and tripped her. Garcia then told her to take her pants off or he would rip them off. Complainant then began to struggle and Garcia began to kiss her on the face and neck, hurting her as he squeezed her breasts. He removed her pants, then his own. Garcia told complainant she had better be good or he would kill her. He then forced his penis into her vagina. Garcia then got off of complainant, told her she "wasn't any good," and stuck an object "up her vagina." She knew this because she felt like it was tearing and ripping.

Complainant further testified that after Garcia removed the object, Sanchez approached and he also put his penis into her vagina, and that when Sanchez finished, each defendant then had intercourse with her a second time. The defendants dressed, told complainant to dress, grabbed her by the arm, and led her back inside the van. While inside the van Garcia had intercourse with her once again. Sanchez then attempted to have intercourse with her again but she curled up and pretended to be asleep.

According to her testimony, although she feigned sleep, she never actually did sleep that night. She explained that she did not attempt to escape because both defendants were sleeping positioned against the back door of the camper. She claimed that as a result of the occurrences, she was muddy and disheveled. At the time of the incident she was five feet seven inches tall, weighing 175 pounds. By her own testimony, Garcia was shorter than she was, weighing 35 pounds less. Sanchez was of approximately the same height as the complainant and weighed 10 pounds more than she did. She stated that at no time during the intercourse by one defendant did the other defendant hold or touch her.

She further testified that upon awakening on April 4, 1978, the defendants drove her back to Garcia's residence. There, she saw Miguel De Leon, but made no attempt to cry out or to escape to him. After returning to the house, Garcia and complainant got back into the red Mustang. Garcia began to drive around, eventually coming to a liquor store, also in East Chicago, Indiana. Garcia parked the car right in front of the store. The distance from the doorway of the liquor store to the parked car was approximately six feet. Garcia told the complainant not to try anything because he would be watching her, and he could see her from the inside of the store. He then went into the ...

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