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04/21/88 the People of the State of v. Jeff Van Ostran

April 21, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

JEFF VAN OSTRAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

522 N.E.2d 851, 168 Ill. App. 3d 517, 119 Ill. Dec. 189 1988.IL.570

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Coles County; the Hon. Paul C. Komada, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE KNECHT delivered the opinion of the court. GREEN, P.J., and LUND, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE KNECHT

Defendant Jeff Van Ostran was charged by information with three counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 12-14(b)(1).) In the absence of a plea agreement, defendant pleaded guilty to the offenses charged. Thereafter defendant was diagnosed as suffering from borderline mental retardation. At the hearing on aggravation and mitigation defendant made a motion to withdraw his guilty plea claiming he was unable to understand the nature and consequences of his plea. The circuit court of Coles County denied the motion and sentenced defendant to 10 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Defendant filed a formal motion to withdraw his guilty plea which was also denied. Defendant appeals and we affirm.

On April 21, 1987, defendant pleaded guilty to charges alleging he knowingly committed an act of sexual penetration with an eight-year-old and, on two separate occasions, committed the same act with an 11-year-old. Before he entered his plea defendant was advised of the charges against him, his rights and the effect of a guilty plea on those rights. The admonitions, although proper, were given en masse to defendant and two other unrelated defendants who also entered guilty pleas.

In a motion to withdraw his guilty plea, defendant alleged he responded to the trial court's inquiries by answering the same as, or "parroting," the answer of the defendant admonished prior to him. Defendant testified his impressions of the April 21, 1987, hearing were as follows:

"[Defendant]: [The] Judge asked [the other defendant] some questions and she said, '[Yes], sir, Your Honor' and then he asked me and I said 'yes,' because I thought it was all right to say that. I didn't know what it was talking about, but I still agreed to it.

[Defense Attorney]: Did you understand in your own mind back on April 21 everything the Judge was saying to you?

[Defendant]: No, sir. I didn't.

[Defense Attorney]: Did you have a clear understanding back on April 21 that if you pled guilty to the charges that the Judge would have to sentence you to the penitentiary for at least six years?

[Defendant]: I realized a little bit of it. That was about it."

On cross-examination the State's Attorney asked: "So, you knew that . . . you would go to the penitentiary if you plead [ sic ] guilty, didn't you, ...


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