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11/10/87 the People of the State of v. Colette Tennin

November 10, 1987




Present in the apartment when P.S. and the three women entered were two more of the defendant's nieces, 16-year-old Joyce Welch and 13-year-old Marlene Welch, and Jeanette Leonard and Dedra's three children. P.S. testified that the defendant, Wanda, and Jeanette slapped and hit and kicked her in a back room, apparently in retribution for some remarks P.S. had made. P.S. testified the defendant threatened to kill her if she told anybody what happened. P.S. then went into the bathroom to wash her face, and the defendant, Wanda and Jeanette came into the bathroom. Wanda held a potato peeler to P.S.'s face while the defendant told P.S. to pull her own pants down and put her finger in her vagina. P.S. complied, and the defendant then told P.S. to lick that finger and lick her (the defendant's) foot. The defendant also made P.S. put shaving cream in her own mouth.


515 N.E.2d 1056, 162 Ill. App. 3d 520, 113 Ill. Dec. 897 1987.IL.1665

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. John L. Hughes, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE UNVERZAGT delivered the opinion of the court. REINHARD and DUNN, JJ., concur.


Defendant, Colette Tennin, was charged in three separate informations filed in the circuit court of Lake County with three counts of exploitation of a child, two counts of pandering, one count of juvenile pimping, three counts of intimidation and one count of unlawful restraint. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, pars. 11-19.2(1), (2), (3), 11-16(a)(1), (a)(2), 11-19.1, 12-6(a)(1), (a)(2), 10-3.) The intimidation counts charged that the defendant threatened the complainant with physical harm and physical confinement with the intent to cause her to perform an act of prostitution. A jury found her guilty of two counts of intimidation and one count of unlawful restraint, and the court sentenced her to two concurrent three-year terms of imprisonment.

She contends the court erred: (1) in excluding evidence of the complainant's prior sexual activities; (2) in admitting evidence of a statement about the instant offenses made by the complainant to her mother; and (3) in allowing in evidence at the sentencing hearing a victim-impact statement prepared by the complainant's stepfather.

The complainant, P.S., was 12 years old in October 1985. On October 24, walking home from a gas station where she had stopped to buy some candy after school, she was forced into a parked car by three women whom she knew: Dedra Johnson, the 17-year-old defendant, Colette Tennin, and defendant's niece, 14-year-old Wanda Welch. P.S. was driven to a building on 10th Street in North Chicago and forced into an upstairs apartment where Dedra and her three children lived. P.S. remembered talking with North Chicago detective VanDien during an investigation of the subsequent events in the apartment, but she did not remember telling him that she voluntarily entered the car and the apartment. VanDien testified P.S. first stated she was forced into the car and the apartment, and that she later stated she entered both voluntarily.

After they all left the bathroom, the defendant spat in P.S.'s face and told her not to tell about the events which just occurred or she would be looking for her. The defendant then looked out the window, called a man upstairs, and told P.S. that she was going to act as a prostitute. P.S. disrobed at the defendant's command. The man came upstairs, gave the defendant $50, and P.S. testified, "the man then started pumping me." Afterward, the defendant called another man upstairs, and he had sex with P.S. for free. Jeanette then took P.S. to Lamont Coleman's aunt's house. From there, P.S. went to Mary Peets' house and called her mother, who came to get her.

P.S.'s mother testified that on October 24 P.S. called her from Mary Peets' house at 11 p.m. P.S.'s mother called the police and went with them to Mary Peets' house, where P.S. told her mother what happened.

North Chicago detective John Phelps testified that he interviewed the defendant about 11 p.m. on November 15, 1985, at the North Chicago police station. The defendant told Phelps that P.S. arrived at Dedra's apartment at noon on October 24. Dedra was mad at P.S. because P.S. had been talking about her. Dedra slapped P.S. and hit her with a belt. Wanda and Jeanette then took P.S. into the bathroom. The defendant went into the bathroom and saw P.S. masturbating. After that, everyone went into the living room, where Wanda refused P.S.'s request to leave.

The defendant admitted to Phelps that she wanted P.S. to be a prostitute and said that she had slapped P.S. The defendant denied she ever had other girls sell their bodies, but said that she had set up dates for other girls and that she got part of the money when they had sex with men. Phelps stated the defendant never told him that she forced P.S. to have sex on October 24.

The State rested. The defendant's motion for a directed verdict on all counts was granted as to the juvenile pimping charge, but ...

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