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06/16/87 the People of the State of v. Larry Harris

June 16, 1987

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

LARRY HARRIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION

510 N.E.2d 107, 157 Ill. App. 3d 70, 109 Ill. Dec. 486 1987.IL.824

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. William Cousins, Jr., Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE HARTMAN delivered the opinion of the court. SCARIANO, P.J., and STAMOS, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE HARTMAN

Defendant was convicted by the court of juvenile pimping, soliciting for a juvenile prostitute and aggravated criminal sexual abuse and was sentenced to three concurrent terms of six years' imprisonment. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, pars. 11-19.1(a), 11-15.1(a); Ill. Rev. Stat., 1984 Supp., ch. 38, par. 12-16(d).) On appeal, defendant contends: (1) he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; and (2) the circuit court erred in applying section 5-5-3(c)(7) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 1005-5-3(c)(7)), requiring that he be sentenced as a Class X offender.

The testimony at trial showed that a 13-year-old girl met defendant, then age 24, while riding on a bus with three younger children in September 1984. She told defendant that she was 17 years old; he did not believe her. She and defendant got off the bus, sent the children home and then went to a hotel where defendant introduced her to a woman named Bernadette. The child and defendant talked briefly, then engaged in sexual intercourse. Thereafter she told defendant and Bernadette that she was only 13 years old; defendant responded that he had known that she was not 17 years old and that "[it] really doesn't matter how old you are." After defendant and Bernadette argued and then fought over an unspecified subject, defendant assured the child that everything would be all right and she spent the night with defendant.

Several days later the child spoke with defendant about becoming a prostitute. In response, defendant told her that several persons would be able to instruct her. Two nights later, she accompanied defendant and Bernadette to a street corner wearing a wig and make-up that they had given her. Bernadette instructed her in how to stop cars and "turn dates," while defendant waited a short distance away. She stated that she "turned" more than "one date" the first evening, and gave the money she received to defendant.

The child worked as a prostitute four or five nights per week for five months, giving all the money she earned to defendant. In turn, defendant bought her clothes and other items that she needed to continue as his prostitute. Defendant told her to tell police that she was 17 years old if she was ever questioned, and he gave her a false birth date and address to use for that purpose. On November 9, 1984, defendant became angry with her when he observed that she was not standing in the location to which he had directed her; as a result, he threw her against a wall. Two police officers arrived and immediately arrested defendant and the child. She told the officers that she was 17 years old and never went to court as a result of her arrest.

On January 15, 1985, she was arrested again, gave the officers her real name and told them that she was only 13 years old. Thereafter, she was placed in a children's home. During the time that she worked as a prostitute, she had sexual intercourse daily with defendant. Defendant was then arrested and charged with juvenile pimping, soliciting for a juvenile prostitute, pandering and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

At trial, defendant's mother, sister and brother testified that they had met defendant's child prostitute on several occasions and that she had told them that she was 17 years old. They also testified that she had lost weight since that time and that she appeared younger at the time of trial.

After finding defendant guilty of juvenile pimping, soliciting for a juvenile prostitute and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and acquitting him of pandering, as first noted above, the circuit court found defendant eligible for sentencing as a Class X offender pursuant to section 5-5-3(c)(7) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 1005-5-3(c)(7)) due to three prior robbery convictions, all Class 2 felonies. He appeals. I

Defendant's first contention on appeal is that he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of soliciting for a juvenile prostitute, asserting that there was no evidence presented establishing that he arranged meetings between the child and prospective customers for the purpose of prostitution and that other alleged conduct did not fit within the purview of that proscribed behavior.

The offense of soliciting for a juvenile prostitute is committed when one solicits another for the purpose of prostitution, arranges a meeting of persons for the purpose of prostitution, or directs another to a place for the purpose of prostitution and the prostitute for whom such person is soliciting is under age 16. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, pars. 11-15, 11-15.1.) Both defendant and the State have cited on-going judicial controversy over the scope of section 11-15; that controversy, however, is primarily concerned with whether the proscriptions against soliciting for a prostitute extend to cover the activities of customers soliciting prostitutes. (See People v. Thoma (1987), 152 Ill. App. 3d 374, 504 N.E.2d 539; People v. Holloway (1986), 143 ...


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