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07/12/89 the People of the State of v. Curtis Hall

July 12, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

CURTIS HALL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, THIRD DIVISION

541 N.E.2d 1369, 186 Ill. App. 3d 123, 133 Ill. Dec. 931 1989.IL.1091

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Kenneth Gillis, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE FREEMAN delivered the opinion of the court. WHITE and CERDA, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE FREEMAN

Defendant, Curtis Hall, was indicted for aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, kidnapping and unlawful restraint. After a jury trial in the circuit court of Cook County, defendant was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault and kidnapping. Defendant was sentenced to 60 years' imprisonment.

Prior to trial, the trial court conducted a fitness hearing. Dr. Albert Stipes, the State's psychiatrist, testified that defendant would be fit to stand trial if he received anti-psychotic medication. He also stated that, without the medication, defendant could regress to his previous state, although not immediately but over several weeks. The trial court found defendant fit to stand trial after the parties stipulated that Dr. Gilbert Bogan, the defense psychiatrist, agreed that defendant would be fit with medication.

At trial, complainant testified that she was walking south on Lafayette Street on her way home from stores at 87th and the Dan Ryan expressway at approximately 1:30 p.m. on August 22, 1984. As she approached a viaduct, a man came up to her from behind, put his hand over her mouth and told her to keep walking. When complainant said, "o," the assailant threatened to kill her if she resisted. He then twisted complainant's arm behind her back and forced her up to the railroad tracks. At this time, the attacker placed an object which felt like a gun against complainant's back. However, complainant never saw a gun.

Once they reached the railroad tracks, complainant was able to see her assailant. At this time, a train came along and the assailant put his arm around complainant's neck and forced her to kiss him. The assailant forced complainant to walk along the tracks for approximately 45 minutes. Thereafter, the assailant forced complainant down a little hill onto a grassy area and told her to disrobe. When complainant refused, the assailant put his hand up to her face and forced her to do so. The assailant then forced complainant to have sexual intercourse with him. During the act, complainant was face to face with her assailant. Afterwards, the attacker told complainant that she looked like his wife, who had taken his children away from him, and that she was going to get what his wife deserved. The attacker also told complainant that the strange phone calls she had been receiving were from him. Over the next two to three hours, the attacker forced complainant to have sexual intercourse five more times.

When the assailant lay down a short distance from complainant after the last act of intercourse, she hit him with a stick, picked up her clothes and ran. The assailant chased complainant but she was able to elude him. Complainant eventually flagged down a Chicago police car. Complainant and the police then attempted to locate the scene of the assault. Thereafter, the police took complainant home and then to the hospital. Complainant identified defendant as her attacker in a police lineup on September 17, 1984.

The State also introduced evidence of an earlier attack upon two young women allegedly committed by defendant in the vicinity of the attack upon complainant.

Alicia Allison testified that she and a friend, Karen Thomas, were walking west on 87th Street to a gas station after alighting from the CTA's Dan Ryan line on the afternoon of August 19, 1984. As they approached a railroad viaduct, a man came up from behind them and placed a gun between their heads. The attacker grabbed Thomas by the neck, put the gun to her head and told the women to climb up to the railroad tracks. Once they reached the top of the embankment, the assailant forced the women to walk along the tracks. The assailant forced first one women and then the other to crawl along the tracks as he held the second by the neck. After about 90 minutes, Allison attempted to run away. However, the assailant put the gun up to Thomas' face and threatened to shoot her if Allison did not return. Allison then returned and the assailant hit her across the face with the gun.

The assailant then forced Allison to crawl along the tracks for 35 minutes. Thereafter, he forced the women into a prairie area away from the tracks. As their attacker began touching the women's breasts and loosening their belts, Allison hit him in the face with a tree branch and the women ran off in different directions. During the time the women had been with their assailant, he had talked about his mother, his wife and "her kids." After she ran away, Allison came upon a group of people in the street, one of whom called the police. Allison gave the police a description of the attacker. Allison identified defendant as her attacker in the September 17, 1984, lineup.

After the jury returned its verdict, defense counsel requested a fitness examination of defendant. The trial court, finding no bona fide doubt of defendant's fitness, denied defense counsel's request. Subsequently, the trial court denied defense counsel's renewed motion for a fitness examination prior to defendant's sentencing after finding no bona fide doubt of his fitness.

Defendant first contends the State denied him a fair trial by introducing evidence of the Allison-Thomas attack. He asserts that the Allison-Thomas attack was insufficiently similar to the attack upon complainant to indicate that both offenses ...


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