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01/13/95 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. JAMES BYRON

January 13, 1995

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JAMES BYRON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois. No. 91-CF-1944. Honorable Patricia Schneider, Judge, Presiding.

Released for Publication February 22, 1995.

Present - Honorable Allan L. Stouder, Presiding Justice, Honorable Tom M. Lytton, Justice, Honorable Michael P. MC Cuskey, Justice. Justice Lytton delivered the opinion of the court: McCUSKEY, J. and Stouder, Pj., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lytton

JUSTICE LYTTON delivered the opinion of the court:

The defendant, James Byron, was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, par. 12-16(c)(1)(i).) He was sentenced to a two-year term of conditional discharge. He appeals, and we affirm.

At trial, the victim, T.C., testified that on the morning of July 10, 1991, he went with his brother and his grandfather to the defendant's farm. When they arrived at the farm, the defendant and T.C. "jogged a horse" together. T.C. explained that when someone "jogs a horse" he rides in a cart that is attached to the horse. He stated that a usual jog for a horse takes about 30 minutes to complete.

According to T.C., when he and the defendant jogged the horse, T.C. sat between the defendant's legs with his feet in the stirrups. After they jogged the first horse, T.C.'s brother and grandfather left the farm.

T.C. and the defendant then jogged another horse. After about four or five laps around the track, the defendant placed his hand underneath T.C.'s underwear and began rubbing T.C.'s penis. The defendant continued rubbing his penis until they had completed jogging the horse. While the defendant did so, he told T.C. that it was their own little secret and not to tell anyone.

T.C. further testified that Jack Pfeiffer and the defendant's cousin, Peggy Chapman, were in the barn when T.C. and the defendant returned from the track. T.C. did not tell them what had happened because he was scared. T.C. then watched the defendant jog another horse until the defendant drove him home.

As soon as he arrived home, T.C. told his sister that he had been with the defendant and the defendant had grabbed his penis. She immediately called T.C.'s mother at work. T.C. then talked to his mother on the phone. At this point in T.C.'s testimony, the defendant objected to any further testimony regarding these conversations. Specifically, the defendant argued that no proper foundation had been laid for that testimony. He also argued that T.C.'s testimony was inadmissible hearsay since the State was trying to bolster T.C.'s credibility through the use of self-serving statements. The trial court overruled the defendant's objection.

T.C. then continued to testify about the conversation that he had on the phone with his mother. He stated that he told his mother that the defendant had reached into his pants and rubbed his penis. He also noted that he was interviewed by police officers at 5 p.m. and again a few hours later. He did not testify to the substance of those conversations.

On cross-examination, T.C. admitted that he did not speak to anyone after the incident until he returned home and spoke to his sister.

After T.C. testified, the court held a hearing to determine whether certain hearsay statements were admissible pursuant to section 115-10 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, par. 115-10). At the hearing, T.C.'s mother and sister testified to the statements T.C. made to each of them. Their testimony was consistent with T.C.'s testimony about what he had told them. Additionally, T.C.'s sister testified that although she did not know what time T.C. got home that day, she thought that it was sometime in the afternoon. T.C.'s mother testified that when she talked to T.C. on the phone at around 12:30 p.m. he was very upset. The trial court overruled the defendant's objection to the admission of the testimony of T.C.'s mother and sister.

Later in the trial, the court held a second section 115-10 hearing concerning the statements that T.C. made to two police officers. Officer Terry Kreimeier testified that he spoke to T.C. at 3 p.m. on the day of the incident for 30 minutes. Kreimeier's testimony concerning T.C.'s statement to him was consistent with T.C.'s testimony about what happened that day. Officer Joseph Farmer testified that he spoke to T.C. at 7:30 p.m. on the day of the incident. Farmer's testimony was also ...


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