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April 26, 1994



Petition for Leave to Appeal Allowed October 6, 1994.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Scariano

JUSTICE SCARIANO delivered the opinion of the court:

At approximately 3:30 in the morning of May 19, 1991, T.P. left her place of employment, intending to go to her residence which was located at the corner of 91st and Loomis in the city of Chicago, four blocks directly east of her work place. She had waited about an hour for her uncle to escort her, but she finally grew impatient with the delay, and headed for home on her own. She walked east on 91st Street, and when she approached the alley between Laflin and Justine streets, she observed a blue automobile turn into the alley and stop in its opening.

A passenger alighted from the car and proceeded down the alley on foot; the car then left the entrance to the alley, also heading south. T.P. continued walking east until she crossed the alley, whereupon she was seized from behind; and after warning her to be quiet, her attacker dragged her through the alley toward a gangway in the rear of an apartment building.

Once in the gangway, T.P. was forced against a brick wall, where her assailant pinned her by holding his forearm across her throat. In this position, she could see the face of her assaulter, and at trial shetestified that it was defendant. He again told her to be quiet, adding that if she did not cooperate, he would kill her. She noted that even though he controlled her with one arm across her neck, he nevertheless kept the other hand in his pocket.

He released the chokehold on T.P.'s throat and commanded her to undress, but after she did not comply, he removed her pants and underwear himself. Defendant then ordered T.P. to lie on the ground, took off his own pants and underwear, straddled her and inserted his penis into her vagina. Before terminating intercourse, defendant decided that he wanted to continue in a location that would afford him more privacy, and to do so, he stood up and began gathering up T.P.'s clothing.

Seizing the opportunity, she fled east through the gangway, running into the middle of Laflin Street, where she encountered a man walking down the street. The individual, Michael Scott, gave her his jacket to cover her when he saw that she was unclothed, but he could not learn what had happened to her because T.P. was unable to communicate. Instead, she was crying and shaking. She also would not let him touch her. Later, he realized that she was saying that she had been raped.

T.P.'s screams were also heard by Stanley Turner who lived on the first floor of the apartment building behind which T.P. was assaulted. When he heard screams, he looked out his window and saw a woman emerge from the gangway. He asked her what had happened, and she responded that she was raped. He first phoned the police, and then sought to aid her. Although he was trying to comfort her, she told him to stay away. Turner observed her shaking and he saw that she was constantly pulling on her shirt, attempting to cover herself.

The first officers to respond were Officer Willie McGhee and his partner. When they arrived, McGhee saw two males and a female standing in the middle of Laflin Avenue. The woman was naked from the waist down, she was in a hysterical state and she would not speak to the officers. She stayed that way until Jean Pfeiffer, a female police sergeant, approached and ultimately calmed her. This took some time because the victim was severely traumatized.

When T.P. was finally able to speak, Pfeiffer learned her name as well as coaxing from her the details of the assault. Intending to drive her home, Pfeiffer drove past the corner of 91st and Laflin, where T.P. again became hysterical, pointing to a car and stating that her attacker had exited that car before he assaulted her. T.P. described the rapist as a very dark-complected black male, approximately 30 years old, who was between five feet, ten inches and six feet tall andweighed about 190 pounds. In addition, she was certain that he was wearing a white jacket with black stripes. McGhee, who had been driving his own squadrol behind Pfeiffer's, investigated the auto which T.P. had indicated was involved in the incident. He asked its occupant, Calvin Dunigan, to exit the vehicle and to accompany him to Pfeiffer's car. After looking at him, the victim indicated that he was not her assailant. Two days later, after looking at a photo array, T.P. identified defendant as the offender, and she subsequently re-identified him in a lineup conducted after his arrest.

Dr. James Hildebrandt, the State's proffered expert in emergency medicine, testified that when he examined her after the police had taken her to the hospital, T.P. was depressed and distraught, with what he termed a flat affect or an apathetic demeanor. She informed him that she had been raped, and complained that she had been punched in the abdomen, which still pained her.

His examination disclosed no signs of trauma to the vaginal area such as tears or abrasions, but, given the elasticity of the muscles in that region, he did not consider that fact significant. His studies suggested that an absence of pelvic area injury was the norm for the victims of sexual ...

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