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06/05/89 the People of the State of v. Paul Wright

June 5, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

PAUL WRIGHT, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY; THE HON. ROBERT

v.

BOHARIC, JUDGE, PRESIDING. APPELLATE JUDGES:



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIRST DIVISION

542 N.E.2d 367, 186 Ill. App. 3d 159, 134 Ill. Dec. 188 1989.IL.840

JUSTICE O'CONNOR delivered the opinion of the court. MANNING, P.J., and CAMPBELL, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE O'CONNOR

Defendant Paul Wright was charged with home invasion (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 12-11) and aggravated criminal sexual assault (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 12-16). Wright had a jury trial that ended in a mistrial when the jury could not reach a verdict. After a second trial, the jury found Wright guilty. Wright was convicted and sentenced to 50 years' imprisonment. Wright appeals the verdict, arguing that the trial court admitted irrelevant and prejudicial evidence and that he was prejudiced by inflammatory remarks by the prosecution during closing arguments. For the reasons below, we affirm.

The victim lived with her two sons at 3724 S. Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago. On July 21, 1985, the victim and her sons spent the day at a picnic and returned home between 9 and 9:30 p.m. The older son went to bed, and the victim and younger son, age four, fell asleep watching TV in the living room. The lights from the kitchen and living room were left on.

Some time later, the victim was awakened by an intruder who held a knife at her neck. The intruder told the victim to lie on the floor. After she did so, the intruder dropped his pants and forced his penis into her vagina. At that time, the son was awake and watching. The victim asked the intruder to let the boy go upstairs, but the intruder refused.

After about 10 or 12 minutes, the intruder told the victim to lie on her stomach. He then attempted to put his penis into her rectum, but could not. He put his fingers into her rectum. After a few minutes, the intruder told the victim to get up. These actions were witnessed by the boy, who was now crying. The victim told her son to go upstairs to his bedroom, and the intruder hit her in the eye. He then told her to bend over, and he again put his fingers into her rectum.

The victim asked the intruder to let her go to the bathroom and promised not to scream. He refused. The victim struggled and broke away from the intruder. She ran upstairs to the bathroom, closed the door, and screamed out the window for help. After about five minutes, she opened the door and walked down the hallway, but was afraid to go downstairs. She returned to the bathroom, where she saw the intruder running away.

The victim called her mother and the police. While waiting for them to arrive, she noticed that a small window in the living room, facing Cottage Grove, was open. She closed it. She also discovered $10 missing from her bedroom. The victim's mother and the police arrived at about 2 a.m.

The victim told police officer Ballard that she had been raped. She described the offender as a black male with a dark complexion, large eyes, close-cut hair, light mustache, early to mid-twenties, about 5 feet 3 inches tall, about 130 to 135 pounds, wearing a light or white short-sleeved shirt, blue jeans, and sandals. After giving the description, the victim was taken to a hospital and examined. Her right eye and cheek were swollen, and she had a cut about an inch long on her neck. Samples were taken from her vagina with a Vitullo Kit. No rectal samples were taken because the victim complained of soreness.

On August 1, 1985, the victim went to the police station at 11th and State, where she worked with composite artist Leo Feldman to prepare a sketch of the offender. When the sketch was done to the victim's satisfaction, Officer Walter Donald copied the sketch and distributed it to other officers. On August 2, the victim examined three photo albums of black male sex offenders in their twenties and recognized no one. The defendant's photo was not in any of the albums.

Officer Donald had recognized Paul Wright from the composite sketch, although he did not know Wright's name. On August 18, Donald showed the victim a photo of Wright with photos of four other men who lived in the victim's neighborhood. The victim identified Paul Wright as the man who had raped her.

On August 19, Donald and three other officers arrested the defendant at his home at 3750 S. Ellis Avenue, about a block and a half from the victim's residence. The next day, the victim picked the defendant out of a lineup, asserting that she had no doubts about her identification. Wright was charged with home invasion and aggravated criminal sexual assault and had a jury trial. The trial ended in a mistrial when the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

At Wright's second trial, the victim and the police officers involved testified to the above facts. In addition, Officer Donald testified that the victim's apartment was visible from the defendant's apartment. Donald identified two photographs of the front of the victim's apartment, taken from the fifth-floor front of the defendant's apartment building. Donald also testified, over objection, that it was possible to reach the victim's living room window by scaling the porch roof and that he had done so. The trial court allowed the testimony with the instruction that the ...


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