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05/02/89 the People of the State of v. Clarence Dace

May 2, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

CLARENCE DACE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Before the jury was selected, the State filed a motion in limine seeking to bar the defendant from asking the inmate witnesses why they were in the Will County jail. The trial court granted the State's motion, saying:

APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT

538 N.E.2d 225, 182 Ill. App. 3d 444, 131 Ill. Dec. 37 1989.IL.649

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Will County; the Hon. William R. Penn, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE STOUDER delivered the opinion of the court. BARRY and HEIPLE, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE STOUDER

The defendant Clarence Dace appeals his conviction for criminal sexual assault. The defendant, who represented himself at trial, was convicted by a jury in May 1988. At the sentencing hearing the defendant, who was then represented by appointed counsel, was sentenced to a term of 15 years' imprisonment.

On appeal the defendant contends: (1) his right to confrontation was violated where he was precluded from questioning inmate witnesses about the charges they faced; (2) he was denied a fair trial because two uniformed guards were in the courtroom during his trial; (3) the trial court erred in admitting third-party testimony of prior hearsay statements made by the complainant; and (4) he was denied a fair trial due to prosecutorial misconduct during closing arguments.

The record reveals that the victim, Allan Schwartz, was in custody in the Will County jail during the early morning hours of January 27, 1988. At approximately 1 a.m., Schwartz was accused of cheating at cards and beaten by two other inmates. According to Schwartz, he was forced to submit to anal intercourse with the defendant and another inmate.

The prosecution's case included the testimony of two Will County inmates and Will County guard Michael Robinson. In support of his defense, the defendant presented the testimony of three Will County inmates and treating physician Dr. Joseph Stewart.

The jury found the defendant guilty of criminal sexual assault, and at the defendant's request, the public defender was appointed to handle post-trial motion and sentencing. The defendant was subsequently sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment.

The defendant first argues his right to confrontation was violated when he was precluded from questioning inmate witnesses about the charges they faced.

"I think he can inquire as to whether or not any offers were made to them, to procure their testifying in this case to show the witness bias or prejudice. That can be done Mr. Dace, without going into reasons ...


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