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04/24/89 the People of the State of v. William A. Gramc

April 24, 1989





537 N.E.2d 447, 181 Ill. App. 3d 729, 130 Ill. Dec. 380 1989.IL.592

Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County; the Hon. Stephen M. Kernan, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE CHAPMAN delivered the opinion of the court. GOLDENHERSH and RARICK, JJ., concur.


On March 3, 1987, the defendant, William A. Gramc, was tried before a jury and found guilty of aggravated criminal sexual assault. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 12-14(a)(1).) The defendant was sentenced to a 26-year term of imprisonment. On appeal, the defendant raises two issues: (1) whether he was convicted beyond a reasonable doubt; and (2) whether the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing the defendant. We affirm.

The complainant testified that on November 4, 1986, at 12:30 p.m. she was doing her laundry at the Shiloh Station Laundromat when the defendant entered. No one else was in the laundromat at that time. After a short conversation, the defendant checked the bathroom and the doors, then came up behind the complainant and grabbed her around the neck. The complainant fought to escape from the defendant, got as far as the front door, and attempted to pull it open. The defendant kicked the front door shut with his foot and displayed a pocket knife, stating, "[If] you do what I say, I won't hurt you." The defendant then forced the complainant into the bathroom of the laundromat and locked the door. The complainant, in what she described as an attempt to "try to psych" the defendant, asked him, "[Why] you didn't you just come up and ask me instead of grabbing me?" The defendant then took money from the complainant's purse and forced her to perform an act of oral sex. The defendant next forced the complainant to undress, and after taking off his own clothes, he forced her to lie face down on the bathroom floor and submit to an act of anal sex. The defendant also forced the complainant to submit to an act of vaginal intercourse. During this time, the defendant told the complainant that he was dying of cancer and did not care what he did. The complainant estimated that they remained in the bathroom between 1 1/2 and 2 hours, during which time they smoked several cigarettes. While still in the washroom, the complainant and the defendant became aware that other people were in the laundromat. The complainant stated that "he told me that I had better not scream or I would have that knife right through my throat."

Following the sexual assaults, the defendant ordered the complainant to get dressed and took her car keys from her purse. He reminded her that he still had the knife and ordered her to follow him out of of the laundromat. As they began to leave, the complainant noticed that there were two people in the laundromat. They did not look at her as she left the laundromat, and she said nothing to them because she feared for her life.

The building which housed the laundromat contained five or six other businesses. These businesses were open, and there were 10 to 12 cars parked in the parking lot at the time. One of the businesses was only about 10 steps away from the complainant as she walked to the car. The defendant unlocked the driver's door of the complainant's car and got in. He then unlocked the passenger's door from the inside and the complainant got in the car. The complainant testified that she did not attempt to enter one of the businesses or run away because she was frightened.

After leaving the parking lot, the defendant drove the complainant to a convenience store. He entered the store with the car keys in his possession to buy the complainant a Pepsi which she had requested. The defendant was in the store for approximately five minutes and the complainant stated that he watched her from the store. The defendant's attorney questioned the complainant concerning her failure to cry out to people who were coming and going from the convenience store or to lock the car doors and sound the horn in an attempt to draw attention. The complainant testified that it would have been futile to lock the doors in view of the fact that the defendant had the keys to the car in his possession, and that she mouthed "help me" through the glass but no one who was entering or leaving the store looked at her. Concerning her failure to run while the defendant was in the convenience store, the complainant stated: "I was afraid that nobody would help me and I would run out and get killed by a car or something because I was so afraid."

When the defendant returned to the car, he drove them behind a restaurant where the complainant was again forced to perform an act of oral sex. The defendant then drove the car without any apparent destination for some time, until the complainant told him that she needed to use the bathroom, hoping that he would take her to a service station where she could lock the bathroom door and scream until she was rescued. Instead, the defendant turned down an alley and instructed the complainant to relieve herself there. When she was finished, the defendant got out of the car and began to fondle her. In an attempt to "psych out" the defendant and make him stop, the complainant told him to stop because someone would see them. They then returned to the car, and while trying to leave, the defendant backed the car into a ditch. The defendant forced the complainant to try and push the car out of the ditch, and when she was unsuccessful, he told her to get behind the wheel while he pushed the car from the rear. When the defendant lifted the car out of the ditch, the complainant drove away, went directly to a service station, and called the police. The defendant was apprehended walking down the road about 15 minutes later. He was brought by the police to the service station where he was identified by the complainant.

After she had identified the defendant, the police drove the complainant back to the laundromat, where she finished doing her laundry. When questioned about this action, the complainant explained that the police had given her permission to go back and finish her laundry, and that the clothes she was washing when the defendant assaulted her represented her entire wardrobe and she feared they might be stolen. After finishing her laundry she returned home and called the police for further instructions. She was then taken to a hospital for an examination and tests. On cross-examination the complainant admitted that she had been under psychological treatment for some time but had been off medication for two years.

Veronica Paddock was the emergency room nurse at the hospital when the complainant arrived. She testified that the complainant was bruised on the neck and on one wrist.

Captain James Lay of the sheriff's department testified that after the defendant was arrested, he took the complainant to the laundromat, where she identified a pack of cigarettes on the bathroom floor and a bottle of whiskey in the bathroom sink as belonging to the defendant. The complainant also gave Captain Lay a gray jacket and black belt from her car which she identified as ...

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