Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Richard L. Curry, Judge Presiding.
Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied October 6, 1994.
Hartman, DiVITO, Scariano
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hartman
JUSTICE HARTMAN delivered the opinion of the court:
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), pursuant to the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA) (the Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 23, pars. 2051 et seq. (now 325 ILCS 5/1 et seq. (West 1992))), investigated two reports of suspected child abuse made by teenage girls against Dr. John Doe (a court-allowed pseudonym), a clinical psychologist at Charter Barclay Hospital's in-patient, adolescent unit. The incidents allegedly occurred while the girls were staying at the hospital. Following formal investigations, DCFS made a determination that the reports were "indicated" and classified them in the central register of all cases of suspected child abuse or neglect reported and maintained by DCFS. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 23, par. 2057.7 (now 325 ILCS 5/7.7 (West 1992)).
On appeal, plaintiff contends that DCFS applied erroneous interpretations of the criteria under ANCRA and the DCFS administrative regulations in determining that the reports were "indicated" and that the circuit court erred in determining that the findings of fact made by DCFS were not against the manifest weight of the evidence.
C.W., then 17 years old, reported that while she was a patient at Barclay Hospital, she was acquainted with Dr. Doe, but he was not the clinical psychologist assigned to her. C.W. alleged that Dr. Doe had kissed her on the lips in the elevator, had come to her room several times to talk with her, and had given her "full embrace hugs." Following a formal investigation, the DCFS investigator determined that C.W. was at risk of sexual harm and "indicated" a finding of a substantial risk of physical injury or substantial risk of sexual abuse as set forth in allegation 22 of Appendix B of the Illinois Administrative Code, Social Services. 89 Ill. Adm. Code § 300, Appendix B (1991).
B.T., then 15 years old, reported that while she was a patient at the hospital, Dr. Doe had put his hand on her buttocks and upper thigh area. Dr. Doe was not the clinical psychologist assigned to her. Following a formal investigation, the DCFS investigator "indicated" a finding of sexual molestation as set forth in allegation 21 of Appendix B of the Illinois Administrative Code, Social Services. 89 Ill. Adm. Code § 300, Appendix B (1991).
Dr. Doe sought to expunge the reports from the central register. Following an administrative hearing, the hearing officer recommended that Dr. Doe's request for expunction be denied. DCFS concurred with the recommendation of the hearing officer and formally denied Dr. Doe's request for expunction of the record. Dr. Doe's complaint for administrative review was also denied.
Dr. Doe contends that the definition of "abused child" as set forth in section 3 of ANCRA (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 23, par. 2053(c) (now 325 ILCS 5/3(c) (West 1992))), which extends sex offenses as defined in the Criminal Code of 1961 to include children under 18 years old, was erroneously applied and an examination of section 12-12 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, par. 12-12 (now 720 ILCS 5/12-12 (West 1992))) belies DCFS's interpretation of its statutory powers.
An "abused child" means a child whose parent or immediate family member, or any person responsible for the child's welfare:
"b. creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such child by other than accidental means which would be likely to cause death, disfigurement, impairment of physical or emotional health, or loss or impairment of any bodily function;
c. commits or allows to be committed any sex offense against such child, as such sex offenses are defined in the Criminal Code of 1961, as amended, and extending those definitionsof sex offenses to include children under 18 years of age." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ...