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09/14/88 the People of the State of v. Jesse Monk

September 14, 1988





528 N.E.2d 1063, 174 Ill. App. 3d 528, 124 Ill. Dec. 172 1988.IL.1377

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Logan County; the Hon. Gerald G. Dehner, Judge, presiding.


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


On September 18, 1987, defendant Jesse Monk was found guilty by the circuit court of Logan County of the offense of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in violation of section 12-16(c)(1) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 12-16(c)(1)). Defendant was subsequently sentenced to four years' imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

A bench trial was conducted on September 17, 1987. The first witness was T.M., the victim, who is currently seven years old. The incident occurred on November 25, 1986, at which time she was six years old. Defendant and his wife, Alma Monk, were baby-sitting for T.M. On the date in question, defendant picked T.M. up at school and had lunch. She stated he then touched her and kissed her on her privates. By use of a doll, she showed this meant her groin. She stated he also had her kiss his penis and wipe it with a Kleenex. This occurred in the bedroom, and defendant's wife was not present. Later that day T.M. told her parents and others.

On cross-examination, T.M. could not remember what clothing she wore. She also stated she was mad at defendant because defendant would not let her go to a neighbor's house. However, this occurred after defendant touched her. She maintained he took her clothes off. She also remembered telling the police defendant touched his private to her private and pushed hard. Defendant told T.M. she was his special friend.

T.M.'s father testified that defendant and his wife had been baby-sitting for his daughter for approximately one year. On the date in question, he picked T.M. up around 4 p.m. When they got home, T.M. started crying, saying she wanted her mother, but she would not tell him why. When her mother came in, T.M. told them what happened.

T.M.'s mother stated that when she got home, T.M. was very upset and started crying while telling her what happened. They then took T.M. to the hospital. Later that night, T.M. wet her bed, which was very unusual for her. She also had nightmares, which she did not have before.

Mary Stenger is a social worker at St. John's Hospital in Springfield. She interviewed T.M. that night. T.M. seemed to her to be alert and intelligent. She was able to relate the incident without any prompting.

Dr. John Benitez examined T.M. at the hospital. He testified T.M. was alert, oriented, and playful at the time of the interview.

Sergeant John Cook is a detective with the Logan County sheriff's office. He interviewed T.M. late that night. She was very alert and communicative.

Diane Schneider is a forensic scientist specializing in serology. She tested the underwear T.M. was wearing that day and found saliva in the crotch. She was unable to find any blood factors in the saliva. Both T.M. and defendant are nonsecretors, meaning their saliva would not contain blood factors. The State rested.

Defendant stated he is 46 years old and was disabled in 1981. He and his wife had been baby-sitting T.M. in excess of one year. On the date in question, his wife needed to get some medication and asked defendant to pick T.M. up. He brought her home and gave her some lunch. She suddenly got up and started riding on the corner of his chair. He stated T.M. said, "Let's me and you go in the bedroom and do what mamma and daddy do and you and Alma do." He told her she should not talk this, and they went outside. At no time did he touch or kiss her improperly, or have her kiss him.

Once outside, he was working on a tiller. He had to continually yell at T.M. to keep her out of his neighbor's house. When his wife came home, he told her he had a problem with T.M. He explained that T.M. had a habit of sexually rubbing herself on the chair which they called "riding the chair."

Robert Fuiten considers defendant a friend. Defendant has a reputation for honesty and truthfulness. He also has a good reputation for moral character. Ed Schlosser testified similarly. Larry Wise stated defendant and his wife baby-sat his daughters. He similarly testified as to defendant's reputation. Everett and Jesse Edith Cherry, defendant's neighbors, also testified favorably concerning his reputation.

Alma Monk testified the first time she saw T.M. that day was when she got back from the pharmacy. Defendant brought T.M. into the house through the front door. He did this to make sure she was home because he was not going to bring T.M. in the house unless Alma was home. Alma gave T.M. her medicine to settle her down. Defendant told Alma that T.M. was having one of her bad days. To her this meant T.M. was frequently riding furniture. During the rest of the afternoon, T.M. played in the house like normal.

This was the first time defendant had been alone with T.M. Defendant did not tell Alma that T.M. had made ...

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