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People v. Goodson





Appeal from the Circuit Court of Madison County; the Hon. A.A. Matoesian, Judge, presiding.


Defendant, Robert Goodson, was charged by information with three counts of exploitation of a child. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 11-19.2.) Defendant was found guilty after a jury trial in the circuit court of Madison County and was sentenced to a 10-year term of imprisonment on each count, those sentences to be served concurrently. Defendant has perfected this appeal.

To our knowledge, this is the first appeal to involve this statute. Effective August 26, 1981, section 11-19.2 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 11-19.2) provides as follows:

"Exploitation of a Child. (A) A person commits exploitation of a child when he or she confines a child under the age of 16 against his or her will by the infliction or threat of imminent infliction of great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement or by administering to the child without his or her consent or by threat or deception and for other than medical purposes, any alcoholic intoxicant or a drug as defined in the Controlled Substances Act or the Cannabis Control Act and:

(1) Compels the child to become a prostitute; or

(2) Arranges a situation in which the child may practice prostitution; or

(3) Receives money or other property from the child knowing it was obtained in whole or in part from the practice of prostitution.

(B) For purposes of this Section, administering drugs, as defined in Subsection (A), or an alcoholic intoxicant to a child under the age of 13 shall be deemed to be without consent if such administering is done without the consent of the parents or legal guardian.

(C) Exploitation of a child is a Class X felony."

On appeal, defendant contends that: (1) there was no evidence that the victim was confined, (2) the circuit court improperly instructed the jury as to the definition of "confine," (3) the circuit court abused its discretion by refusing to order a psychiatric examination of the victim, and (4) the circuit court abused its discretion by denying defense counsel's motion for continuance.

The evidence adduced at trial indicates that during September 1981, the victim, a female who was then 13 years of age, ran away from her Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home and eventually resided with defendant in his apartment in St. Louis, Missouri. While living with defendant, the victim and several other females also living in defendant's apartment engaged in the practice of prostitution. The victim received instructions from defendant and the other females living in the apartment. In particular, she was told to use an alias and to lie about her age. She was instructed as to how to solicit, how much to charge, what sexual acts to perform, how much she was required to bring in each night and what to say or not to say in case of arrest. Defendant would transport the victim along with the other females to one of several truck stops in both Illinois and Missouri, where the females would solicit truck drivers. Defendant would monitor the actions of the females by listening to them solicit over the CB radio or by making unannounced stops at the truck stops where they were supposed to be working. At the night's end the females would return to the apartment with defendant or would hitch a ride back to the apartment with a truck driver. The victim gave the money she obtained from her prostitution to defendant, who provided her with room and board and some personal items for which she paid nothing. There was, however, testimony that defendant bought the victim a pair of boots and that in return the victim was expected to work and bring in an additional amount equal to twice the value of the boots.

The victim's first night out was September 24, 1981. On that night she persuaded a truck driver to take her to Oklahoma with him. However, before they were able to leave she was found by one of the other females and was persuaded to return when she was told that another of the females had been beaten for returning without the victim. She worked every night until the middle of November, when she left with a truck driver. Thereafter, on November 21, 1981, the victim was arrested for being a runaway by authorities in Columbus, Indiana. She was temporarily placed in a foster home and was to be returned to her home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The evidence indicated that the victim did not want to return home, so she escaped and returned to defendant.

Once she returned, the victim was sent back to solicit for and engage in prostitution at truck stops in both Illinois and Missouri. Shortly after her return, the victim again attempted to leave. However, she was again persuaded not to go; but on this occasion she was beaten by the defendant's brother when she was found. The victim testified that on this occasion the defendant threatened to kill her. The victim further testified that she was beaten on three subsequent occasions, once by defendant when he was attempting to get information from her about another female withholding money from defendant and at another time when the victim didn't bring in as much money as defendant wanted. On this last mentioned occasion defendant also had one of the other females beat the victim. The victim stated that she was beaten once more by defendant after she had entered a restaurant at one of the truck stops against defendant's instructions. Shortly after this last beating, on December 31, 1981, the victim left the defendant's apartment while everyone else there was asleep and was taken into the protective custody of authorities in Madison County, Illinois.

The victim testified that defendant told her that nobody ever leaves him and that if she ever left him she would be sorry. The victim recalled an incident where one of the other females had attempted to leave with a truck driver and the defendant had forced the driver to pull over by threatening to shoot the truck's tires. That same female had shown the victim a gunshot wound the woman claimed she received when the defendant shot her. Another witness ...

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