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09/28/89 the People of the State of v. Loren Holm

September 28, 1989





544 N.E.2d 1237, 188 Ill. App. 3d 908, 136 Ill. Dec. 462 1989.IL.1543

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Adams County; the Hon. Dennis K. Cashman, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE LUND delivered the opinion of the court. KNECHT and GREEN, JJ., concur.


On November 11, 1988, following a jury trial in the circuit court of Adams County, defendant Loren Holm was found guilty of committing the offense of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, in violation of section 12-16 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 12-16). He was subsequently sentenced to five years' imprisonment. Defendant now appeals. We reverse and remand.

Defendant was charged on February 19, 1988, with one count of committing aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The information alleged that defendant, being the father of L.H., fondled the breasts and vagina of L.H. By a bill of particulars, it was alleged this offense occurred on February 2, 1988, at the Quincy Hobby Center, a family-owned business. The trial commenced on November 9, 1988.

The first witness was the victim, L.H. She was born March 10, 1971, and has been residing in a foster home since February 19, 1988. She lived with her mother, Joann, and defendant until they were separated. A divorce is currently pending, and Joann now lives in Columbia, Missouri. In that family, L.H. has an older sister Michelle, a twin sister Laurie, and a younger brother Michael. She also has two halfsisters. One is Miranda, age 17, and the other is Kirsten, age 11. Their mother is Linda Davis-Holm, who is not married to defendant. At the time of the incident, all the girls lived with Linda and defendant. Defendant owns and has worked at the Quincy Hobby Center for 15 to 16 years. The hobby center sells crafts, ceramics, and remote-control items. Defendant also has a computer business. L.H. began working there when she was 11 years old.

Defendant would frequently go out of town to help score at remote-control model airplane conventions, or go to trade shows. When he went out of town, he usually took a daughter with him. At first, he took Michelle and Miranda, and then he started taking Laurie and L.H. Sometimes he took them individually, and sometimes he took two or three at a time. These weekends were a combination vacation and business.

During the year of 1988, defendant started making sexual advances towards her. This built up gradually over the years. She never saw him make any type of advances towards her sisters. In August 1987, she went on a trip with him to Higginsville, Missouri, to help score a contest. They stayed overnight in a motel room with one double bed. At first, it was not common to share a bed but, as time went on, they did because defendant felt it was necessary to save money. She woke up in the middle of the night, and defendant had his hand between her legs playing with her vagina. She woke him up, and he told her he was asleep and did it by accident.

The next trip she took with him was February 12 to February 14, 1988, in Belleville, Illinois. This was to attend a meeting of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a medieval reenactment group to which he belonged. At this time, she was having problems at home. She had spoken in front of Miranda about her problems with defendant, and Miranda told Linda. Linda was upset and wanted her out of the house. This was the reason she went with defendant. She did not feel she could go to her mother's house at this time.

When they got to Belleville, they stayed at the Sleepy Hollow Motel. Again, they stayed in one room and shared a double bed. Defendant told her that after they got there, she would learn to be an adult. She found out that night that by this statement, he meant that he should masturbate her, and she should masturbate him. She did not wish to, and they argued. However, she eventually gave in. At this point, she was dressed, and he was not. He undressed her, and the acts were completed. Accordingly, when they got home, she was in a depressed mood.

In Quincy, there were sexual contacts where defendant would commit "feelies" by putting his hand down her shirt or in her pants and feeling around her chest or vagina. Things started building up and led to the Belleville incident. These feelies usually occurred at the hobby center. February 2, 1988, was the last time he touched her sexually, other than on the subsequent Belleville trip.

On that day, she came to work at the center around 3 p.m. after school. At the time, no one else was present. He put his hand down her shirt and played with her breasts. He also put his hand down her pants, between her blue jeans and underwear, and touched her vagina. Michelle and Linda Davis were also working that day. Michelle was out running errands at the time, and Linda was not in.

She acknowledged that she first lived with her mother after the separation and, when she moved in with her father, she made allegations that her mother abused her. She also admitted that in late 1987, defendant and Linda were on her quite a bit about her low grades and not helping around the house and hobby center. She denied this had any involvement with her desire to get out of the house. When she spoke with defendant on February 18, she told him she needed to get out of the house and wanted to go to a foster home. At this point, the State rested.

Miranda Holm, half-sister of L.H., testifying for defendant, stated that in December 1987, both L.H. and Laurie had book reports due. L.H. did not want to do hers and waited until the last possible minute. L.H. also does not like doing her chores around the house. Defendant and Linda were continually after L.H. to do better in her school work and to do her chores at home. In January 1988, L.H. told her that "I am going to lie. I am going to blackmail my dad so I can get out of the house, so, I am going to go to DCFS and the police and tell them that he raped me." She told Linda about this conversation the next day, which was a Thursday. On that Friday, L.H. went with defendant to Belleville.

She explained that the event on February 12 which L.H. went to was called the Crystal Ball. L.H. asked to go with defendant. Upon their return, L.H. was in a marvelous mood because she had had a wonderful time.

Michelle Holm was 19 years old at the time she testified. She stated that in mid-January 1988, L.H. started talking about moving into a foster home. Also, at this time, everybody was upset with L.H. about her school work and the fact that she was not helping at home as she should. On February 2, 1988, she was working at the hobby center. She started work at 11 a.m. and did not leave the building until 6 p.m. At no time during this period was L.H. alone in the building. Neither was there any time when she was alone with defendant. She specifically remembers that day because a UPS order was delivered and they had a problem with their computer, which defendant had to work on. Linda was also there the whole time except for between 4:15 and 5 p.m. She remembered that when L.H. came home from the Crystal Ball, she was very excited and happy.

On cross-examination, she admitted telling an investigating officer that she did not feel sex between a father and daughter was wrong as long as they were both adult and consenting. She personally does not believe in it. She then admitted that she allowed her father to take a series of pictures of her while she was in a ...

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