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People v. Goka

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 6, 1983.

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

v.

VINCENT LANESSA GOKA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Anthony J. Bosco, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE HARTMAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

A jury found defendant guilty of armed violence, armed robbery and rape. He was sentenced to 10 years for armed robbery to be served concurrently with a sentence of 18 years for rape. No judgment and sentence were entered for armed violence. Defendant appeals, contending that certain evidence was improperly and prejudicially admitted.

On April 10, 1981, just after 12:17 p.m., the victim, returning to her car parked in a well-lit Oak Park garage, opened her car door, manually turned on the dome light, and sat down in the driver's seat. Defendant forced her into the passenger seat of the car at knife point and took $10 from her. She described the knife as having a yellow plastic handle and resembling a barber's razor. He then forced her onto the floor of the back seat at knife point and raped her. He ordered her to remain on the floor and thereafter fled. The victim waited. She heard keys rattle and a car drive off with a loud or broken muffler sound. With the help of a passerby she went to a nearby hospital for treatment. Oak Park police investigators spoke with her at the hospital regarding the crime, but were unable to secure from her a detailed description of her assailant. They showed her seven photographs, but she did not recognize her assailant among them.

That evening at her home, the victim was visited by a police artist who attempted to draw a composite sketch of the assailant based upon her description, but he was unable to do so. The officer departed and made no report of his visit. There is no record indication that the victim and police officer discussed the rape.

The next day, April 11, 1981, a police officer stopped defendant's car as matching the description of an auto reportedly driven by a Vincent Goka, who was wanted on an outstanding Texas rape warrant. The officer arrested defendant and upon arrival of additional officers, a yellow handled knife resembling that described by the victim was removed from the front seat of defendant's car. That same afternoon, while defendant was in custody, the victim was again visited by police officers who showed her a new array of photographs, including defendant's. She tentatively identified defendant's picture and requested to see him in person.

The next day, the victim identified defendant in a police lineup. Thereafter she was taken to the police garage where she listened to the sound of defendant's car and identified it as similar to the sound of the car she heard leaving the parking garage immediately following the rape.

On October 8, 1981, defendant's motions to suppress both the lineup identification and the knife seized from his car were denied.

On March 10, 1982, defendant presented two pretrial motions in limine. The first attempted to bar testimony regarding the details of defendant's arrest on the outstanding warrant based on rape charges in Texas. The court agreed to preclude testimony as to the nature of the warrant but allowed testimony to the effect that the arrest was based on a warrant. The second motion, which attempted to bar introduction of the evidence of the sound of defendant's car, was denied.

At the trial, the victim made an in-court identification of defendant. During cross-examination, she reported the police artist's visit to her home. This was defendant's first knowledge of the visit and he moved for a mistrial, which was denied.

A police officer testified regarding the victim's identification of defendant in a police lineup. A second officer testified about the arrest of defendant on the outstanding warrant, and a third officer testified about the recovery of the yellow handled knife from defendant's car. On cross-examination of another officer, defendant learned of a police report made on the arrest of another suspect in the case. Defendant had not been provided a copy of the report by the State and again moved for a mistrial, which was denied.

Defendant testified that he is a registered nurse, is married and has five children. He was not working on the day of the assault and, at noon, he was at home in Oak Park. At 12:30 p.m. he drove to downtown Chicago with his wife and baby. At about 1 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. he picked up his paycheck downtown from his employer. He denied knowledge of or participation in the rape.

Louise Heads, staffing coordinator of defendant's employer, testified that on the day of the assault, at about 1:30 or 1:35 p.m. defendant was in their downtown Chicago office picking up his paycheck. She did not know where defendant had been at 12:30 p.m. that day.

The jury returned the verdicts of guilt first noted above.

In this appeal, defendant challenges: (1) the lineup identification; (2) seizure of the knife; (3) evidence of defendant's arrest on the outstanding Texas warrant; (4) the victim's testimony concerning the sound of his auto; and, (5) failure to grant a mistrial following the presentation at trial of ...


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