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06/24/88 In Re S.M. Et Al.

June 24, 1988

IN RE S.M. ET AL., MINORS (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

Illinois, Petitioner-Appellee, v.

David McHone et al., Respondents-Appellants)

525 N.E.2d 565, 171 Ill. App. 3d 361, 121 Ill. Dec. 507 1988.IL.1002

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County; the Hon. Bradner C. Riggs, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE INGLIS delivered the opinion of the court. DUNN and WOODWARD, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE INGLIS

Respondents, David and Charmaine McHone (David and Charmaine or respondents), appeal the orders of the circuit court of Winnebago County finding that S.M. and B.M. were abused minors. Respondents contend that the trial court's finding of abuse is against the manifest weight of the evidence. We affirm.

S.M. is the daughter of David McHone and the stepdaughter of Charmaine McHone. She is a 15-year-old ninth grader, and a B and C student. She testified that her father had sexually abused her on two occasions. The first incident occurred when the witness was five or six years old. She was pretending to be asleep on the living room couch, clad in her nightgown and underwear. David sat down on the couch and touched her in the vaginal area with his fingers. When she rolled over as to wake up, David got up and left. S.M. testified that the second incident occurred on Sunday, March 15, 1987. She was working as a dishwasher at Sam's Pizza, and her parents would take her to and from work. On that evening, Gary Cox, a family friend, was visiting the McHones, and he and David drove S.M. to work. David alone came to pick her up from work. On the way home, he put his hand inside her pants and started touching her in the vaginal area. Both were in the front seat of the car. She was wearing a seatbelt, but could not recall if her father was wearing one. The drive home took about five minutes, most of it along Hononegah Road.

S.M. further testified that as her father turned the car onto Hononegah Road, he reached over and began touching her. He told her to uncross her legs and act her age. She replied that she was acting her age but that he was not. Somewhere during the ride, her jeans became unbuttoned. She stated that her father was driving normally and that the car did not swerve. When they arrived home, she got out of the car and buttoned her jeans. Her father told her not to say anything. She did not report the incident to anyone until she told her math teacher about it on March 30, 1987. She testified that she was afraid of her father because of these incidents and tried to avoid him.

On cross-examination, S.M. admitted that she had told people she hated her stepmother. She stated that she no longer hated her stepmother. S.M. said she was angry with David and Charmaine, however, because they would not let her associate with several individuals who were all older than she. She had wanted to spend the weekend prior to March 15 with another family, but David denied permission. S.M. also mentioned an incident in which she wanted to go skating with a friend, accompanied by her friend's older brother, but her father again would not allow her to go.

She testified that the day before the second incident, March 14, she was picked up from work by David and Charmaine. She could not remember what kind of top or what kind of coat she was wearing on March 15 or whether it was snowing. She testified that when she got home that day, she found her younger sister, B.M., sleeping on the couch and brought her up to her room. She admitted that she had given a prior statement in which she said that she had found B.M. asleep in S.M.'s bed.

Cox testified that he was not at the McHone residence on March 15, 1987. He was there on Saturday, March 21, 1987, when he dropped off B.M., who had spent the night with Cox's daughter. That night he and David McHone dropped S.M. off at work, then sat around and drank several beers before Cox and his family went home.

Charmaine McHone testified as an adverse witness. She also testified that Cox was not at the McHone residence on March 15. Cox came over on March 21 to drop off B.M. She and ...


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