Before jury selection commenced, defendant filed 27 proposed jury questions of which two were denied by the trial court. Thereafter, defendant excused the court reporter during the voir dire. He also filed a motion in limine to exclude reference to his 1973 forgery conviction for which he had been sentenced to three years in prison and had been released in 1976 after serving his term. The court ruled that the introduction of the conviction for forgery would be allowed in the event defendant chose to testify at trial.
APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION
509 N.E.2d 567, 156 Ill. App. 3d 194, 108 Ill. Dec. 871 1987.IL.663
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Christy S. Berkos, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE LORENZ delivered the opinion of the court. SULLIVAN, P.J., and MURRAY, J., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LORENZ
Defendant was charged with one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, pars. 12-14(b)(1), 12-16(c)(1)). Following a jury trial he was found guilty on both counts and sentenced to six years' imprisonment on the aggravated criminal sexual assault charge.
Defendant appeals urging the following. First, the voir dire was inadequate by failing to question defendant's interracial relationship with his girlfriend. Second, the trial court erred in denying defendant's motion in limine to preclude the prosecution from interjecting any evidence of his 12-year old forgery conviction. Third, he was prejudiced and denied a fair trial by prosecutorial comments during closing arguments which were not proper inferences based on evidence deduced at trial. Fourth, the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions for aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
The following pertinent testimony was adduced at trial. On August 11, 1984, at 9 p.m., N.M., a minor female, and her mother, D.M., were in their second-floor apartment at 217 South Fifth Avenue, Maywood. Defendant, 31 years of age, lived upstairs in another apartment with his girlfriend, Elizabeth Graham. Defendant and Graham were friends of D.M. and N.M. After a short visit, all four of them decided to take a ride in Graham's car. Defendant and Graham sat in the front seats while N.M. and D.M. sat in the backseat. An armrest separated the two seats in the front of the car. Defendant was driving.
Defendant drove to a restaurant for hamburgers. D.M. laid her sleeping daughter on the backseat lying on her stomach and "crunched up." D.M. went into the restaurant along with Graham to buy some hamburgers. Defendant remained in the car with the child.
N.M. testified that while she was sleeping she "felt something funny" hurting her. The pain she felt was in her "behind" and hurt her so much that she woke up. When she awoke, she saw defendant leaning over the armrest, sticking his finger in her "behind." She was wearing a skirt and blouse and her panties had been pulled down to her knees. The child tried to slap the defendant's hand and he pulled his finger out of her anus. The victim testified that she was in pain. After defendant pulled his finger out of her anus, he put his finger under his nose and moved it across his face. N.M., meanwhile, pulled her panties up and began crying as she hugged her teddy bear. She moved over to the passenger side of the rear seat in the corner of the car, away from the defendant. She testified that she was afraid.
While she remained in the backseat, defendant got out of the car. Before he got out of the car, defendant said to her, "Turn your head, I have to pee."
Soon thereafter, N.M.'s mother returned to the car and asked her what was wrong. N.M. said "Nothing." N.M. testified that it was after she told her mother "nothing was wrong" six or seven times that she whispered to her mother that defendant had stuck his finger in her behind. D.M. ...