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07/21/88 the People of the State of v. Charles R. Bradley

July 21, 1988





526 N.E.2d 916, 172 Ill. App. 3d 545, 122 Ill. Dec. 523 1988.IL.1134

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Adams County; the Hon. Dennis K. Cashman, Judge, presiding.


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


The defendant Charles R. Bradley was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault on December 19, 1986, under section 12-14(b)(1) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 12-14(b)(1)). The complainant was an 11-year-old girl. After a jury trial, Bradley was convicted of the offense and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment. The defendant appeals from the judgment of the circuit court of Adams County. We reverse and remand.

On December 19, 1986, the defendant was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault of the complainant between March 1 and August 1, 1986. On March 25, 1987, a hearing was held to determine the competency of the complainant to testify. Complainant was examined and cross-examined by counsel and a psychologist testified that complainant was mildly retarded. The court determined the complainant was a competent witness.

The evidence at trial was as follows.

The defendant, after a period of unemployment, was hired as a resident manager of a Home Individual Program home in 1985. The home was operated by a private agency licensed by the State. The HIP homes were intended to provide an alternative to institutionalization for developmentally disabled children. The resident manager was responsible for all aspects of the children's care and was on duty five days a week, 24 hours a day. During the remaining two days each week and at other times when the resident manager had reason to be away from the home, a relief worker was present. Part of the duties of the manager and relief workers was to keep a detailed, daily record of each child's activities and to note any unusual behavior or activities. Each month a meeting with the resident manager, social workers, parents and other interested parties took place to discuss the activities and progress of each child. Defendant was resident manager of HIP home No. 1 until June 1986, when he took over a different HIP home. His daughter Mary Bradley became resident manager at HIP home No. 1 succeeding her father. Complainant was placed in the HIP home No. 1 in June 1985, and remained there at the time of her complaint in October 1986.

Mary Bradley testified she became aware of complainant's interest in sex and purchased a children's book and audio cassette explaining the difference between bad and good "touches." Lynn Loatsch, the complainant's teacher, testified the complainant brought this audio cassette to her and asked her to listen to it. After doing so, Loatsch testified the complainant stated she received "bad touches" from the defendant and indicated these "touches" took place in the vaginal area.

The complainant was able to testify to her age and birthday and that she had lived with the defendant and his wife. She was unable to identify the defendant after walking around the courtroom while he was present. She stated the defendant was nice to her and they were friends. She also testified the defendant had come into her bedroom at the HIP home, would lay on top of her, place his "thing" in her private parts, and then on one occasion she felt some yellow sticky stuff. Complainant further stated these incidents occurred when defendant's wife was not in the house and defendant instructed her not to tell anyone about the incidents. The complainant was unable to testify as to the exact number of incidents.

The parties engaged in a voir dire of Pat Hancox, a child abuse investigator with the Department of Children and Family Services . After refusing to qualify her as an expert on any syndrome of child abuse, the court accepted her as an expert on the characteristics of child abuse perpetrators and victims. At trial, she was allowed to testify as to these characteristics.

A gynecologist, Dr. Dureska, who had examined the complainant, gave expert testimony as to her physical condition. While her general physical condition was consistent with her age, her hymen was disrupted and a vaginal examination revealed its condition was similar to that of a sexually active married woman. The doctor confirmed that self-manipulation or sexual abuse were both possible explanations for this condition.

The defendant's wife, Nola Bradley, testified she had volunteered to act as a foster mother to the children at the HIP home and lived at the home during the times when her husband was on duty. During much of the period she was employed outside the home during the day but testified that only ...

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