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06/30/89 the People of the State of v. Thomas Kapsalis

June 30, 1989





541 N.E.2d 1323, 186 Ill. App. 3d 96, 133 Ill. Dec. 885 1989.IL.1058

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Edward M. Fiala, Jr., Judge, presiding.

Rehearing Denied August 3, 1989.


JUSTICE LaPORTA delivered the opinion of the court. EGAN, P.J., and QUINLAN, J., concur.


Defendant, Thomas Kapsalis, was charged in a 26-count indictment with kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, unlawful restraint, aggravated battery, armed violence, rape, criminal sexual assault, and aggravated criminal sexual assault. Prior to trial, defendant asserted the affirmative defense of insanity. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 3-2.) Following a bench trial, defendant was convicted of criminal sexual assault (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 12-13(a)(1)), was acquitted of the remaining 25 counts, and was sentenced to a term of seven years' imprisonment. On appeal, defendant contends that (1) the evidence was insufficient to prove that he was sane at the time of the offense, and (2) section 6-2 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 6-2), governing insanity and criminal responsibility, is unconstitutional.

The evidence adduced at trial established that about 4:15 a.m. on September 7, 1985, complainant, Susie Greenspan, was walking north on Lincoln Avenue toward her boyfriend's house when she observed defendant leaning against the wall of a building adjacent to a vacant lot. Complainant was wearing a black sweatshirt and a black lace skirt. As complainant passed him, defendant grabbed her and dragged her 60 feet into the vacant lot, which was covered with weeds that were three-feet high. When complainant began to scream, defendant covered her mouth and threatened to kill her if she screamed.

Defendant threw complainant to the ground and pinned her down with his stomach. Complainant struggled with defendant, who squeezed her face and neck so hard that she was unable to speak. Defendant again threatened complainant and asked her whether she "wanted it easy or hard." Defendant then pulled a knife from his utility belt and put it to complainant's neck. He tore open her shirt, fondled her breasts, lifted her skirt, and said, "No panties. My kind of girl." Thereafter, defendant inserted his finger into complainant's vagina. When complainant renewed her struggle and began to rock from side to side, defendant removed his finger and attempted to regain control of her. Defendant then looked toward the street, immediately jumped up, and ran away.

Complainant began to scream and ran to the street, where she flagged down a police car driven by Officer Robert Hayes. Complainant told Officer Hayes and his partner about the attack, described defendant, and said that he had run toward the alley. She then got into the officers' car and rode with them a short distance until she saw defendant. Complainant identified defendant as her attacker, and Officer Hayes placed him under arrest. When Hayes searched defendant, he recovered a knife. Upon being advised of his Miranda rights, defendant told Officer Hayes that he had been drinking prior to his arrest and was "high, but not drunk." Defendant denied attacking complainant and said that he had never seen her before.

Testifying on his own behalf, defendant stated that on the night of the attack, he had consumed approximately a case of beer and one-half bottle of whiskey. He could not recall the events during the attack on complainant, but did remember having a flashback to his combat experiences during his two years in Vietnam. He recalled being in a high-grass area in a vacant lot where he saw "the enemy," Vietnamese dressed all in black. Defendant stated that he believed that he was attacking "the enemy." Defendant admitted having a knife that night and remembered threatening complainant, but did not recall putting his finger into her vagina. Defendant testified that he did not know what he was doing or that his acts were wrong and that this was not the first time he had suffered a flashback to his combat experiences in Vietnam. He admitted, however, that he did not tell anyone about the Vietnam flashback until approximately three weeks after his attack on complainant. Following this incident, defendant was confined to the psychiatric ward of a Veterans' Association hospital for a month, and upon his release, defendant began receiving therapy twice weekly. Defendant also stopped drinking alcohol and began attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

The parties stipulated that if called as witnesses, Henry Conroe, M.D., Lee Martin, Ph.D., and Gerson Kaplan, M.D., would testify in accordance with the facts and assertions included in the reports of their examinations of defendant.

Dr. Conroe's report stated:

"[Defendant] had two psychiatric diagnoses on 9/7/85. The first was Chronic Post-traumatic Stress Disorder . . .. The second diagnosis was Alcohol Dependence . . .. Both of these mental disorders were present on 9/7/85 and prevented [defendant] from appreciating the criminality of his actions and conforming his conduct to the requirements of the law. . . . The alleged assault on 9/7/85 was due to an explosion of his suppressed rage at being in a vulnerable position in Vietnam. . . . On 9/7/85 while under the influence of significant amounts of alcohol which impaired his judgment, he used the solution he learned in ...

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