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12/04/89 the People of the State of v. Albert Robinson

December 4, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

ALBERT ROBINSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIRST DIVISION

556 N.E.2d 1204, 199 Ill. App. 3d 24, 145 Ill. Dec. 302 1989.IL.1863

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Francis J. Mahon, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

Presiding Justice Manning delivered the opinion of the court. Campbell and Buckley, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MANNING

Defendant, Albert Robinson, was convicted of rape (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 11-1(a)), aggravated kidnapping (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 10-2(a)), unlawful restraint (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 10-3(a)), and deviate sexual assault (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 11-3(a)). Following a jury trial, defendant was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of nine years, four years and nine years. On appeal, defendant contends that: (1) the evidence was insufficient to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) the prosecutors' comments during cross-examination and closing argument were improper and prejudicial, thereby denying him of his constitutional right to a fair trial; and (3) the trial court erred in denying his motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.

For the reasons set forth below, we affirm. The complainant testified that at about 3:30 p.m., on April 8, 1984, she was working at the Circle Hot Dog Stand on Maxwell Street when she first met the defendant, a person whom she had never seen before. He came into the hot dog stand and asked her if she had a sister attending a particular school. She responded that she did not, and the defendant left the hot dog stand. She soon left work, and while walking towards Mike's Shoe Store to make a payment on shoes on layaway, she was again approached by defendant. He told her she was a nice looking young lady and inquired why she worked in a place like the Circle Hot Dog Stand. He told her he worked at the post office and could get her a good job. She went into the shoe store and paid on the shoes. Defendant followed her into the store.

When complainant left the store, defendant followed her out. He pulled out a knife, placed the knife at her right side and put his left arm around her shoulder. Defendant told complainant not to scream or he would kill her and that he was taking her somewhere else.

Defendant forced complainant to go with him on the eastbound bus on Roosevelt Road. She further stated that defendant grabbed the rear side door, held it open with the hand that had the knife in it and forced her onto the back of the bus with his other hand. During the ride, defendant kept his left arm around her and the knife, which was in his right hand, at her side. When the bus approached State Street, defendant pulled for her to get off; however, he kept close to her with the knife at her side as they departed the bus. They boarded and departed a second bus in the same manner. That bus proceeded in a southerly direction on State Street.

Complainant and defendant entered a housing project located at 29th and Dearborn Streets. She stated that it was at this time that she saw the knife as defendant closed it and placed it in his jacket pocket. She described it as brown and wooden with a five-inch blade and gold at the top and the bottom. Next, defendant pulled her into one of the buildings and took her to apartment 504 where a man, later identified as Curtis Hughes, opened the door. Defendant took her into the bedroom, sat her on the bed, and called her derogatory names, including a prostitute. Defendant repeatedly told complainant to take off her clothes; and when she refused, he slapped her in the face several times and threatened her. She then took off her clothes. Defendant laid her on the bed and engaged in oral sex and intercourse with her. She stated that she remained stiff, crying and shaking the entire time.

The complainant further testified that Curtis Hughes came into the room and spoke about assaulting her; however, after she cried and begged him to let her go, he left the room. After she dressed, defendant took her into the bathroom, where he took her pants down and washed her vagina with soap and water. Defendant took her to the bus stop at 29th and State Streets and told her not to tell anyone what had happened.

Upon arriving home, the complainant went directly to her bedroom but later took a bath. At approximately 12:30 a.m., she called her boyfriend, Patrick, and told him something bad had happened and asked him to come over to her house. When Patrick arrived, she told him she had been snatched off the street and raped. He then told her mother and sister, who called the police. She gave a statement to the female officer who came to the house. The officer then took her to Billings Hospital for an examination. After the examination, complainant spoke to two detectives who later accompanied her to the building at 2910 South Dearborn. While they were on the fifth floor, Curtis Hughes walked out of the apartment. The complainant identified him to the detectives, who then took Curtis into custody.

Chicago police officer Renee Daniels testified that on April 9, 1984, she and her partner were assigned to a rape case. At approximately 2 a.m., they responded to the call. They were met at the door by the complainant's mother, who said her daughter had been raped. At first, complainant, very upset and crying, was unable to talk while Officer Daniels' male partner was present; however, she was able to speak to Officer Daniels when they were alone. She told Officer Daniels what had happened and that she had been raped.

Patrick, complainant's boyfriend, testified that on April 9, 1984, just after midnight, he got a call from complainant, who asked him to come over to her house. When he arrived she was crying and very upset. She told him she had been abducted and raped in the projects.

Following Patrick's testimony, the parties stipulated that if Dr. Keene were called to testify, he would state that he examined the complainant in the early hours of April 9, 1984. This examination included a vaginal smear which he placed on a slide and gave to the Chicago police department.

Next, Jean Doliak, a microanalyst in the Chicago police department crime laboratory, testified that she analyzed the vaginal smear and concluded that the slide contained human spermatoza.

Detective Steven Barnas testified that he first interviewed complainant at the hospital on April 9, 1984. Later Detective Barnas, his partner and complainant went to the housing project at 2910 South Dearborn, where Curtis Hughes was taken into custody. Soon thereafter, the detectives approached defendant at work at the snack shop, where they found a knife in his jacket. Defendant was placed in custody; and while in custody, he gave a statement to the detectives that he had picked up a girl and had taken her to a friend's apartment. The girl wanted some cocaine so she offered him sex for $100; however, after defendant and the girl had sex, she told him to forget about the money. On cross-examination, Detective Barnas acknowledged that defendant had also stated that he used the knife at work to open boxes.

Later that same day, the complainant identified defendant in a lineup and also identified the knife as being exactly like the one used by her assailant.

Curtis Hughes testified on defendant's behalf. He stated that defendant often stayed in his apartment and came there on April 8, 1984, between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. with complainant. He let them into his apartment, took complainant's coat and asked her to sit down. The three of them proceeded to laugh, joke and talk and sit around for awhile watching television. Curtis left the apartment to meet a friend at the bus stop and returned with a girl about 30 to 40 minutes later. When he returned, the complainant and defendant were in the bedroom. Later, she came out of the bedroom and went into the bathroom alone. She then joined him and inquired if he had any money "to turn a date." Then defendant joined Curtis, who was drinking beer, and the complainant, and the defendant proceeded to drink beer and smoke reefer. She never stated that she had been abducted. Curtis also testified that defendant left the apartment for a few minutes. However, on cross-examination, Curtis conceded that in his prior statements he never stated the complainant had asked him for a date or that anyone had left the apartment that night.

The defendant's account of what occurred was very similar to the complainant's version; however, his testimony differed in certain respects as follows. Defendant testified that on April 8, 1984, while waiting for a bus at approximately 3:30 p.m. at the Circle Hot Dog Stand, he and the complainant had a conversation. He then waited and left the stand with her when she got off work. They went to a shoe store together, and after she transacted her business, they left the store together and walked to Roosevelt Road to catch the bus. Defendant testified it was at this time that he told her they were going to 2910 South Dearborn. They boarded the bus by the front door, defendant paid her fare, and they sat together on the bus. They rode to State Street, where they boarded a second bus at the front door but this time they were unable to sit together. When defendant and complainant entered Curtis Hughes' apartment, she decided she wanted to have sex with defendant. Then, she took her clothes off and lay on the bed. They engaged in sexual intercourse, but defendant did not ejaculate. Defendant stated that he did not force her to have sex with him, nor did he place his mouth on her, slap or threaten her or put a knife to her at any time. At some point during the time she was in the apartment, defendant left to get some cocaine and meet another young lady.

A jury found defendant guilty of rape, aggravated kidnapping, deviate sexual assault and unlawful restraint. The court denied defendant's motions for a new trial and for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict.

We initially consider defendant's contention that the evidence was insufficient to prove that he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. To sustain a conviction for the charges of kidnapping and unlawful restraint, the State must prove that the complainant was either abducted or secretly confined against her will or unlawfully detained by the defendant. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, pars. 10-1, 10-3.) The State, in rape cases, is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the act was committed by force and against the will of the complainant. Ill. Rev. Stat. ...


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