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03/10/87 the People of the State of v. Michael Demeron

March 10, 1987

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

MICHAEL DEMERON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION

505 N.E.2d 1222, 153 Ill. App. 3d 440, 106 Ill. Dec. 431 1987.IL.271

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Sophia H. Hall, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

Presiding Justice Scariano delivered the opinion of the court. Stamos and Bilandic, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SCARIANO

Defendant-appellant, Michael Demeron (Demeron), was charged by indictment with indecent liberties with a child, unlawful restraint, aggravated kidnaping, and two counts of kidnaping. After a bench trial, Demeron was convicted of indecent liberties with a child and sentenced to a four-year term of imprisonment. On appeal, Demeron raises four issues: (1) whether the trial Judge based her ruling on the commission of sexual acts over which the court did not have jurisdiction; (2) whether Demeron was proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (3) whether Demeron was prejudiced by the exclusion of portions of a conversation between the victim and Demeron's girlfriend; and (4) whether Demeron's sentence should be reduced. We affirm both the conviction and the sentence imposed.

The salient facts are as follows: 13-year-old M.S., a female, testified that on June 30, 1983, she was watching a softball game when Demeron pulled up in a car in which her friend A.F., a 14-year-old female, and A.F.'s cousin, "Marco," were passengers. M.S. and A.F. both testified that Demeron pushed M.S. into the back seat of the vehicle, but at the preliminary hearing M.S. claimed she voluntarily got into the back seat. Once M.S. was in the car, Demeron ordered her to sit in the front seat between him and Marco. M.S. and A.F. both testified that as Demeron drove the group to a nearby alley, he unbuttoned M.S.'s blouse, exposing her chest, and threatened to strike her if she tried to cover herself.

Once they arrived at an alley near 87th Street in Chicago, Demeron told A.F. and Marco to get out of the car. M.S. testified that after A.F. and Marco left the car, Demeron ordered her to get into the back seat, and when she refused, Demeron struck her with an open hand. According to M.S., they both then crawled into the back seat, and Demeron forced M.S. to engage in sexual intercourse, during which M.S. screamed for her mother.

A.F. testified that after leaving the car, she and Marco walked around the corner. She then heard M.S. saying "leave me alone" and turned around to see that the car was shaking and that M.S. and Demeron were in the back seat. A.F. observed Demeron get out of the back seat of the car and zip up his pants and fix his belt. She noticed that M.S. and Demeron were sweating when she and Marco returned to the car.

A.F. and Marco then got back into the car and Demeron drove the group to his apartment in Hammond, Indiana. M.S. testified that later in the evening Demeron took her outside of the apartment building in Indiana and forced her to perform fellatio and to engage in sexual intercourse and that she received scratches and bruises on her back from trying to crawl away. A.F. testified that she and Marco followed Demeron and M.S. outside and that she witnessed M.S. orally copulating Demeron. M.S. testified that the next evening Demeron again forced her to perform oral sex in the laundry room of an adjoining building. A.F. claimed she also witnessed this sexual act through a window in the door of the laundry room and believed that M.S. received the scratches and bruises on her back when Demeron put her on the ground. Demeron drove M.S. home the next day.

The only witness who testified for the defense was Sharise Parrish (Sharise), who was Demeron's girlfriend as well as A.F.'s sister. Sharise lived in Demeron's apartment in Hammond, Indiana, and on the day of incident she returned from the store and found Demeron, A.F., M.S., and Marco in the apartment. Sharise testified that M.S. never complained that Demeron had done anything to her, nor did she tell Sharise she wanted to go home. Sharise also claimed that she slept with Demeron and that M.S. and Marco shared a bed in the same room with A.F. One of the nights Sharise claimed she saw Marco pulling M.S.'s hair in bed, and she asked M.S. if she wanted to sleep elsewhere, but M.S. responded that she did not. M.S. admitted that she had written a "love letter" to Marco in which she stated that she would do anything he wanted.

On cross-examination, Sharise stated that she had told M.S. that Demeron was her boyfriend. On redirect examination, the defense was prevented from asking Sharise, on the ground of hearsay, whether M.S. told her in the same conversation that Marco was her boyfriend. Sharise also asserted that the laundry room in the adjoining building did not have a window.

After M.S. returned home, she was initially afraid to tell her mother what had happened, but later that day she went to the hospital, where she was examined. M.S. had on the same red panties she was wearing when Demeron had intercourse with her. The panties as well as a vaginal specimen were taken from the victim and sent to the Chicago crime lab, where they were examined by Chicago police officer Rhoda Doyle, a microanalyst employed by the Chicago police department. Officer Doyle testified that she found intact spermatozoa on the victim's panties and vaginal swab.

Demeron was subsequently convicted of indecent liberties with a child, but was found not guilty of the kidnaping and unlawful-restraint charges based on the conflicting testimony as to whether M.S. had entered Demeron's vehicle voluntarily. Demeron ...


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