Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jo Daviess County. No. 97--CF--81 Honorable William A. Kelly, Judge, Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Geiger
Following a bench trial, the defendant, Charles Bailey III, was found guilty of aggravated criminal sexual abuse (720 ILCS 5/12--16(d) (West 1996)) and sentenced to three years' imprisonment. On appeal, the defendant argues that (1) the evidence was insufficient to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; and (2) his sentence was excessive. We affirm.
On September 29, 1997, the defendant was charged by information with the offense of aggravated criminal sexual abuse (720 ILCS 5/12--16(d) (West 1996)). The information alleged that, on September 27, 1997, the defendant fondled the sex organ of the victim, L.S., through her clothing. The information further alleged that, at the time of the incident, the victim was between the ages of 13 and 17 and that the defendant was at least 5 years older than the victim.
At trial, the victim testified that she was 15 years old. The victim testified that, on the evening of September 26, 1997, she was baby-sitting at the house of Jerry and Lisa McNett in Warren. She arrived at the McNetts' house at approximately 9:30 p.m. At this time, the McNetts' children were already asleep. The victim recalled seeing Jerry McNett, the defendant, and another couple in the house. Approximately 10 minutes after the victim arrived, these individuals departed.
At approximately 10:30 p.m., the defendant returned to the house. The defendant sat down in the same room where the victim was watching television and asked her some questions about what she was watching. The victim testified that the defendant was watching her as she watched television and that this made her feel uncomfortable. A short time later, her boyfriend, Dusty Hay, and her friend, Sarah Embry, arrived at the house. After the victim's friends arrived, the defendant left the house. At 11:45 p.m., the victim's friends left and the victim lay down on a couch to take a nap.
The victim testified that, when she awoke from her nap, the defendant was sitting on the couch with her. The defendant was sitting on the end of the couch with the victim's feet on his lap. The victim testified that the defendant's hand was between her legs and that he was rubbing her vagina through her jeans. The victim testified that she was afraid and uncomfortable. After the victim felt the defendant's hand, she sat up, put her shoes on, and left the house.
The victim testified that she then ran to a bar called "K.T.'s Place" to look for her parents. Although the victim did not find her parents, she did find Lisa McNett and Lou Boelke. The victim told both Lisa McNett and Lou Boelke what had happened. The victim was upset and was crying. When the victim walked outside the bar, she saw her mother, Jacqueline S., driving past her. The victim stopped her mother's car, and Lou Boelke told her mother what had happened. The victim and her mother walked to Lou Boelke's house across the street from the bar and called the police.
Dusty Hay testified that, on the evening of September 26, 1997, he went to the McNetts' house at approximately 11:30 p.m. to check on the victim because she had been feeling ill. Hay testified that Sarah Embry was with him when he went to see the victim. Hay testified that he saw the defendant at the house while he was there and that the defendant was "messing around" in the bathroom.
Lou Boelke also testified on behalf of the State. Boelke testified that, during the early morning hours of September 27, 1997, the victim approached her at K.T.'s Place looking very upset. The victim told her that the defendant had touched her vagina. The victim told her that the defendant's conduct occurred as she was waking up and that "I thought I was dreaming, but I don't think I was."
Jacqueline S. testified that the victim was upset when she stopped her car. She further testified that the victim was unable to talk and that Lou Boelke had to tell her what had happened.
The defendant called Lisa McNett to testify on his behalf. Lisa McNett testified that she was the defendant's sister and that she had hired the victim to baby-sit on the night of September 26, 1997. Lisa McNett testified that the victim was upset when she spoke to her at the bar. The victim told McNett that she had been asleep and that she "thought" the defendant had touched her.
The defendant testified on his own behalf. At the time in question, the defendant was 24 years old. The defendant testified that, on the night of September 26, 1997, he had gone to a bar with several friends. When he ran out of money, he walked back to the McNetts' house to retrieve some cigarettes. The defendant was living at the McNetts' house at the time. The defendant went back to the bar and then returned to the McNetts' house at approximately midnight.
Once back at the McNetts' house, the defendant sat on a couch to remove his shoes and to search for the remote control for the television. The defendant testified that the victim was asleep on the couch at this time. While the defendant was searching for the remote control, the victim woke up. The defendant testified that he never touched the victim.
At the close of the evidence, the trial court found the defendant guilty of aggravated criminal sexual abuse (720 ILCS 5/12--16(d) (West 1996)). Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the defendant to three years' ...