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People v. Maness

June 15, 2000

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT, V. KATHY MANESS, APPELLEE.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Bilandic

November 8, 1999.

This case involves the constitutionality of section 5.1 of the Wrongs to Children Act (720 ILCS 150/5.1 (West 1992)). We hold that section 5.1 is unconstitutionally vague.

STATUTE

Section 5.1 of the Wrongs to Children Act (Act) (720 ILCS 150/1 et seq. (West 1992)) prohibits the offense of "permitting the sexual abuse of a child." For purposes of this case, section 5.1 provides:

"A. A parent or step-parent who knowingly allows or permits an act of criminal sexual abuse or criminal sexual assault as defined in Section 12-13, 12-14, 12-15 or 12-16 of the `Criminal Code of 1961,' [720 ILCS 5/12-13, 12-14, 12-15, 12-16 (West 1992)], upon his or her child and fails to take reasonable steps to prevent its commission or future occurrences of such acts commits the offense of permitting the sexual abuse of a child. For purposes of this Section, `child' means a minor under the age of 17 years.

B. Any person convicted of permitting the sexual abuse of a child shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor." 720 ILCS 150/5.1 (West 1992).

Relevant to the facts of this case is the underlying provision of the criminal sexual abuse statute, section 12-15 of the Criminal Code of 1961, which provides that "[t]he accused commits criminal sexual abuse if he or she commits an act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct with a victim who was at least 13 years of age but under 17 years of age and the accused was less than 5 years older than the victim." 720 ILCS 5/12-15(c) (West 1998). Criminal sexual abuse is a Class A misdemeanor. 720 ILCS 5/12-15(d) (West 1998).

In light of the different versions of section 5.1 that have been in effect, we must as a preliminary matter clarify our reasons for quoting the aforementioned version of the statute. The permitting sexual abuse of a child statute, section 5.1, was amended by Public Act 88-680 to include "legal guardian[ ] or other person having custody of a child" to the list of those subject to the statute, and to add a provision to include within its scope those designated who "knowingly permit[ ], induce[ ], promote[ ], or arrange[ ] for the child to engage in prostitution as defined in Section 11-14 of the Criminal Code of 1961 [720 ILCS 5/11-14 (West 1998)]." See Pub. Act 88-680, art. 50, §50-10, eff. January 1, 1995. Public Act 88-680 also elevated the offense of permitting sexual abuse of a child from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class 1 felony. Pub. Act 88-680, art. 50, §50-10, eff. January 1, 1995. Public Act 88-680, however, is void ab initio because it was enacted in violation of the single subject rule of the Illinois Constitution (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, §8(d)). People v. Cervantes, 189 Ill. 2d 80 (1999).

Section 5.1 was also amended by Public Act 89-428 to add the offense of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child (720 ILCS 5/12-14.1 (West 1998)) to the list of underlying offenses. See Pub. Act 89-428, art. 2, §265, eff. December 13, 1995. Public Act 89-428, however, is void ab initio because it too was enacted in violation of the single subject rule of the Illinois Constitution. Johnson v. Edgar, 176 Ill. 2d 499 (1997). This amendment was later reenacted in Public Act 89-462. See Pub. Act 89-462, art. 2, §265, eff. May 29, 1996. This amendment is not relevant for purposes of this case. Section 5.1, as set forth above, reflects the version of this statute that is applicable to this case.

FACTS

On November 19, 1997, defendant, Kathy Maness, was charged in the circuit court of Randolph County with the offense of permitting the sexual abuse of a child. See 720 ILCS 150/5.1 (West 1992). The charging instrument alleged that defendant, the mother of Lynlee Jo Otten, a minor under the age of 17 years, knowingly allowed or permitted Leonard A. Owens, Jr. to commit an act of criminal sexual abuse upon Lynlee, "in that Leonard A. Owens, Jr. committed an act of sexual penetration with Lynlee Jo Otten, who was at least 13 years of age, but under 17 years of age when the act was committed, in that Leonard A. Owens, Jr. placed his penis in the vagina of Lynlee Jo Otten, and Leonard A. Owens, Jr. was less than five years older than Lynlee Jo Otten, and the defendant did fail to take reasonable steps to prevent its commission." Defendant was alleged to have committed this offense in Randolph County, Illinois, where she and Lynlee lived, between the months of January and August of 1997.

Lynlee Otten was born on October 28, 1983. Leonard Owens was born on February 25, 1979. They started dating each other in August 1996, and began having sexual intercourse in December 1996. Between December 1996, and approximately April 1997, when the pair terminated their relationship, Lynlee and Leonard had sexual intercourse 15 to 20 times.

At some point after the sexual relationship began, Lynlee told defendant, her mother, that she and Leonard were having sexual intercourse. Defendant confronted both Lynlee and Leonard about the sexual relationship, expressed her disapproval, and discussed the implications of sexual intercourse.

Defendant obtained birth control pills for Lynlee and allowed Leonard on numerous occasions to spend the night at the family home. Defendant was aware that, on some of these occasions, Leonard slept in Lynlee's bedroom and had sexual intercourse with Lynlee. Defendant was also aware that, during the relevant time period, Leonard was 17 years old, and Lynlee was 13 years old. The record shows that Leonard pled ...


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