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02/20/87 the People of the State of v. Louis Thoma

February 20, 1987

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

LOUIS THOMA, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE

THE DEFENDANT, LOUIS THOMA, WAS CHARGED WITH SOLICITING FOR A PROSTITUTE (ILL. REV. STAT. 1985, CH. 38, PAR. 11-15(A)(1)), AND ATTEMPTED PATRONIZING A PROSTITUTE (ILL. RE

v.

STAT. 1985, CH. 38, PARS. 8-4(A), 11-18). THE TRIAL COURT GRANTED THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS THE SOLICITING CHARGE. THE STATE APPEALS.

THE DEFENDANT WAS THE PROSPECTIVE PATRON OF AN UNDERCOVER POLICE OFFICER WHO WAS POSING AS A PROSTITUTE. HIS MOTION TO DISMISS THE SOLICITING CHARGE RELIED UPON PEOPLE

v.

HOLLOWAY (1986), 143 ILL. APP. 3D 735, 493 N.E.2D 89, IN WHICH THE COURT HELD THAT THE SOLICITING STATUTE APPLIES ONLY TO MIDDLEMEN, NOT TO PATRONS.



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT

504 N.E.2d 539, 152 Ill. App. 3d 374, 105 Ill. Dec. 439 1987.IL.211

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Peoria County; the Hon. Thomas G. Ebel, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE SCOTT delivered the opinion of the court. HEIPLE and WOMBACHER, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SCOTT

The State argued that the statute encompasses both middlemen and patrons. In support of its argument, the State cited People v. Blair (1983), 114 Ill. App. 3d 655, 449 N.E.2d 172, in which the court found that the statute included a patron's soliciting a prostitute on his own behalf.

The trial court found that Holloway was the better reasoned opinion and that the soliciting statute did not include patrons. It then dismissed the soliciting charge.

The State argues on appeal that the trial court erred.

The fundamental objective of statutory construction is to ascertain and give effect to the legislature's intent. (In re Application of Rosewell (1983), 97 Ill. 2d 434, 454 N.E.2d 997.) A statute should be read as a whole and all its relevant parts should be considered to determine the intent of the legislature. (People v. Jordan (1984), 103 Ill. 2d 192, 469 N.E.2d 569.) Where the language of a statute is susceptible of differing interpretations, to ascertain the legislative intent a court may look beyond the express words and consider the purpose to be served by the statute. (City of Chicago v. Strauss (1984), 128 Ill. App. 3d 193, 470 N.E.2d 563.) A criminal statute must be strictly construed in favor of the accused. People v. Christensen (1984), 102 Ill. 2d 321, 465 N.E.2d 93.

The statute in question provides, in pertinent part:

"(a) Any person who performs any of the following acts commits soliciting for a prostitute:

(1) Solicits another for the purpose of prostitution; or

(2) Arranges or offers to arrange a meeting of persons for the purpose of prostitution; or

(3) Directs another to a place knowing such direction is for the purpose of prostitution." Ill. Rev. Stat. ...


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