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People v. Watts





Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Romie Palmer, Judge, presiding.


Defendant Timothy Watts was charged with rape, deviate sexual assault and aggravated kidnaping. A jury found defendant guilty of all three charges, and the trial court sentenced him to concurrent terms of 12 years on each charge. On appeal defendant contends that he was denied his right to effective assistance of counsel at trial; his due process rights were violated by prosecutorial misconduct at trial; that the admission of hearsay statements deprived him of a fair trial; that he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; and that he was improperly sentenced and that the sentences imposed were excessive.

On April 17, 1982, at 2 a.m., defendant went to the home of complainant, a 16-year-old girl. Defendant said that he wished to see complainant's boyfriend, John Rivera. When informed that Rivera was not there, defendant insisted that she telephone Rivera. Rivera wanted to know what defendant wanted, and complainant went outside to defendant's automobile, where defendant was now sitting. Complainant was wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt.

Complainant testified that when she refused to get in defendant's car, he emerged, grabbed her by the arm, forced her into the car, and drove off quickly. Defendant held complainant's head down on the front seat, told her to keep her mouth shut, and threatened to kill her. He drove to his garage at 33rd Street and Western Avenue in Chicago. There, he pulled complainant from the car, and led her down the alley into the garage. In the garage, he placed a piece of carpeting on the floor and ordered complainant to undress. When she refused, he removed her clothes. Defendant then forced her to commit an act of oral copulation and raped her.

Defendant ordered complainant to get dressed and forced her back into the car. Defendant again held complainant's head on the front seat. They drove around, and defendant purchased cigarettes from a gas station without leaving the car. He drove her back to the same garage, pulled her inside and placed another piece of carpeting inside a car. When she again refused to undress, defendant pulled down her pants. Defendant again forced complainant to perform an act of oral copulation and to have anal and sexual intercourse with him. Defendant told her to break up with her Puerto Rican boyfriend, but she refused. Defendant led complainant to his car, and left her near her home.

When complainant returned home, she saw Rivera in the kitchen and asked where her mother was. When Rivera told complainant that her mother was in the bathroom, complainant went there. Complainant's mother asked if she was all right and if she had been raped. Complainant started to cry and told her mother that defendant raped her. Complainant's mother called the police, and complainant was taken to a hospital.

On cross-examination, complainant testified that she knew defendant was acquainted with Rivera, and that she had been in defendant's home with Rivera on one occasion. Defendant had never been to her home before that morning. Complainant and Rivera had also been together in defendant's car once. After forcing her into the car on the morning in question, defendant held on to her hair and head while driving. Complainant had seen defendant with a knife before, noticed that he wearing a knife case attached to his belt, but did not see a knife that morning. She did not scream or try to get away that morning because defendant had threatened her and she was frightened.

Complainant's mother testified that defendant came to her home on April 17, 1982, at 2 a.m. and asked for Rivera. Complainant went to the door and then returned to use the telephone. After her daughter went back outside to talk to defendant, the mother heard the squealing of tires. She could not find complainant or defendant. The mother found the phone off the hook, and she told Rivera, who was waiting for complainant's return to the telephone, that complainant had disappeared. The mother began looking for complainant, and was joined in the search by Rivera.

Complainant's mother testified that complainant was pale and her hair was wild when she returned. She was silent and stood in the bathroom and stared at herself in the mirror. Complainant's mother twice asked if she was all right and complainant did not reply. When complainant's mother asked if she had been raped, complainant burst into tears and said that she had been raped. Complainant's mother called the police and accompanied complainant to the hospital.

John Rivera testified that complainant telephoned him at 2 a.m. on April 17, 1982, and said that defendant was at her home demanding to speak to him. Rivera asked complainant to find out what defendant wanted, but complainant never returned to the telephone. Rivera spent most of the night searching for complainant. He then waited at her home until her return at 6 a.m. After the police talked to complainant, Rivera led them to defendant's home. Rivera did not need an automobile part and defendant was not looking for a part for him.

Dr. Malikha Rogers testified that he treated complainant at the hospital. She sustained a small bruise on her left breast and three bruises on her left arm in a "line-like configuration." Officer Robert Lebak of the Chicago police department testified that he responded to the call that morning and observed complainant crying. Her hair was disheveled and her face was red. Complainant told him that she was taken to a garage and raped by defendant. Officer Anton Wenskus testified that when he went to arrest defendant, defendant's wife approached and stated, "I guess you are here for my husband."

A microanalyst of the Chicago Police Department Crime Laboratory testified that examination of the oral, vaginal and rectal swabs and of complainant's pubic hairs and underwear did not reveal the presence of spermatozoa. Sperm was discovered on complainant's blue jeans. The witness recovered a number of fibers from complainant's pubic hairs, underpants and jeans which were "similar in all of the characteristics" tested to the two pieces of carpet found in defendant's garage.

Defendant's wife testified for the defense that complainant and Rivera had been at defendant's home on several occasions. Complainant was interested in defendant and followed him with her eyes. On April 16, 1982, the witness, defendant, and their four-year-old daughter drove around looking for an engine for Rivera. They quarreled about defendant's drinking, and he dropped off his wife and daughter at 1 a.m. When defendant returned at 6 a.m., he said that he had been driving around with complainant. Mrs. Watts denied telling the police that they must be there for her husband when they arrived that morning.

Defendant testified that he had sexual intercourse with complainant's consent on the morning in question. He denied forcing complainant into his automobile and garage. Defendant went to complainant's home looking for Rivera to tell him he had an engine. Complainant agreed to defendant's suggestion that they go for a ride, and it was she who initiated the sexual contact at the garage. Complainant asked if she broke up with Rivera would defendant go out with her. When defendant took complainant home, they saw Rivera's car parked near her house. Since they did not want to encounter Rivera, complainant told defendant to drop her off at the alley.

Defendant testified that at the time of his arrest he told the police he did not have sexual relations with complainant because he did not want to lose his wife. He did not tell the police that he talked to complainant about getting an engine for Rivera. He also ...

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