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09/13/96 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. CRAIG BOFMAN

September 13, 1996

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
CRAIG BOFMAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Bertina Lampkin, Judge Presiding.

Released for Publication October 22, 1996.

Presiding Justice McNULTY delivered the opinion of the court: Gordon and Cousins, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mcnulty

PRESIDING JUSTICE McNULTY delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a bench trial, defendant Craig Bofman was found guilty of aggravated criminal sexual assault and sentenced to nine years' imprisonment. Defendant appeals and we affirm.

M.C. testified that on March 15, 1992, when he was nine years old, he attended a Purim carnival at the Bernard Horwich Jewish Community Center (JCC) with his mother, brother and sister. They left the JCC but M.C. returned to the JCC at 4 p.m. to go swimming. M.C. planned to later meet his brothers Robbie and Elly and a friend Yaakov. M.C. went to the locker room and changed into his swim trunks. He then removed his swim trunks and entered the shower. Defendant was in the shower next to M.C. Defendant was naked. Defendant asked M.C. if M.C. could rub some soap on defendant's back. M.C. said "sure" and put soap on defendant's back. Defendant asked M.C. if M.C. wanted soap put on his back, to which M.C. replied "yes." Defendant put soap on M.C.'s back.

M.C. testified that he rinsed the soap off his back and went to the towel room. Defendant then came into the towel room. Both M.C. and defendant were naked. Without saying anything to M.C., defendant placed his hands under both of M.C.'s armpits and lifted M.C. up in the air until M.C.'s head touched the ceiling. As defendant lifted M.C., defendant's penis touched M.C.'s stomach and penis. Defendant then put M.C. down and then lifted him again. Defendant's penis again touched M.C.'s penis.

M.C. testified that he and defendant did not talk about the Purim carnival, nor the weight room, nor how strong defendant was. M.C. denied that defendant said he could pick M.C. up and press him in the air like a barbell because defendant was so strong.

M.C. then went to the shower room, put on his swimming trunks and went to the pool area. He waited on a bench for his friend Yaakov. He did not tell any adults in the pool area what had happened because he was scared. About 15 minutes later, Yaakov came to the pool area and M.C. told him what had happened. M.C. pointed defendant out to Yaakov. Yaakov told M.C. that they should tell somebody what had happened. M.C. and Yaakov then went to the locker room and got dressed. They played basketball in the gym for a few minutes. M.C. and Yaakov then went upstairs to the front desk and waited for M.C.'s brothers to arrive. Two or three minutes later, M.C.'s brothers arrived and M.C. told them what had happened.

M.C., Yaakov, and M.C.'s brothers then went to see the director of the JCC, Emmit Engram, and told him what had happened. M.C. and Yaakov gave Engram a description of defendant. M.C. went with Engram to the pool area, but they did not see defendant. Later that evening, M.C. picked defendant out of a lineup.

Engram testified that he went to the pool area with Yaakov to look for defendant, but they did not see him. Engram retrieved two guest passes from the front desk, one of which had defendant's name, address and telephone number.

Chicago police officer Athena Cordogan testified that she met with M.C. at the JCC and M.C. told her that a man had twice picked him up by the armpits and, while raising him up, rubbed his penis against M.C.'s penis. According to Officer Cordogan, M.C.'s face was flushed, his eyes were watery and he appeared to be shaken. M.C. gave the officer a description of defendant. Officer Cordogan was given defendant's guest pass and checked the telephone book to verify the information on the pass. Officer Cordogan spoke with JCC employee Donna Nutgall, and Nutgall informed Officer Cordogan that she recalled what defendant looked like and that he had rushed out of the building. Based on this information, defendant was arrested that evening.

Jerry Kreiman, a psychiatric clinical social worker, testified for the defense that he knew defendant in a therapeutic setting and had had intermittent contact with defendant since defendant was six years old. Kreiman testified that he found defendant to be truthful and law abiding.

Defendant testified that he went to the JCC and looked at the new weight room. He then showered, which was a requirement before entering the pool. He went into the pool, but after finding it too cold, he went back into the shower to wash off the chlorine smell. Defendant began to talk to M.C., who was also in the shower. Defendant testified he asked M.C. if he had been to the Purim carnival. Defendant then asked M.C. if he wanted soap rubbed on his back, and M.C. said "yes." Defendant then asked M.C. to rub soap on defendant's back and M.C. agreed. Defendant asked M.C. if he had seen the weight room and told M.C. that he planned to join the weight room. Defendant testified that he started "kidding around" with M.C. and asked M.C. if he wanted to see how strong defendant was and whether defendant could "press" M.C. over his head. M.C. responded "yes." Defendant testified that he then put his hands underneath M.C.'s arms, lifted him in the air, lowered him, and then lifted him again, like "lifting weights, barbells." While he lifted M.C., M.C.'s head came in contact with the ceiling. Defendant denied that his penis came into contact with M.C.'s penis, but testified that if M.C.'s penis came into contact with defendant's body, it would have accidently made contact with defendant's stomach when defendant lowered M.C. ...


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