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06/24/88 the People of the State of v. Louis Thoma

June 24, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

LOUIS THOMA, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT

525 N.E.2d 572, 171 Ill. App. 3d 313, 121 Ill. Dec. 514 1988.IL.1000

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Peoria County; the Hon. Arthur H. Gross, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE SCOTT delivered the opinion of the court. HEIPLE and WOMBACHER, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SCOTT

The defendant, Louis Thoma, was charged with soliciting for a prostitute (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 11-15(a)(1)) and attempted patronizing a prostitute (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, pars. 8-4(a), 11-18). The trial court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss the solicitation charge. The People appealed the dismissal of the solicitation charge. This court affirmed the trial court's order dismissing the solicitation charge. People v. Thoma (1987), 152 Ill. App. 3d 374, 504 N.E.2d 539.

After this court's mandate issued, the trial court redocketed this case and proceeded against the defendant on the charge of attempted patronizing a prostitute. After hearing, the trial court dismissed this charge and this appeal ensued.

The sole issue in this appeal is whether the trial court erred in dismissing count II of the information, which charges the defendant with attempted patronizing a prostitute.

Clearly it is an offense for an individual to patronize a prostitute. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 11-18.) The People do not claim that defendant patronized a prostitute but do argue that he committed the offense of attempted patronization of a prostitute in violation of section 8-4 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 8-4), which provides:

"Sec. 8 -- 4. Attempt.

(a) Elements of the Offense.

A person commits an attempt when, with intent to commit a specific offense, he does any act which constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of that offense."

In determining whether the defendant violated the attempt statute it is necessary that a recitation of the pertinent facts be set forth.

The defendant's difficulties began on September 26, 1985, at approximately 1:45 in the afternoon when in the City of Peoria he encountered a female undercover police officer who was posing as a prostitute. The defendant parked his vehicle and at that time the disguised police officer walked to the driver's side of defendant's vehicle. After a brief conversation, the defendant asked, "What do you charge?" The officer responded, "What do you want?" The defendant again asked the officer what she charged. He then asked her, "How much for a blow job?" The officer said, "Well, what is it worth to you?" The defendant replied that he did not know and the officer said, "What do you usually pay for it?" The defendant stated that he had never paid for it before and then said, "How about $20.00?" The officer then stated, "You want a blow job for $20.00?" and defendant said "Yes." The officer then asked the ...


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