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People v. Pippen

September 21, 2001

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
WILLIAM DEAN PIPPEN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Appeal from Circuit Court of Woodford County Nos. 99CF116; 99CF117; 99CF118 Honorable John B. Huschen, Judge Presiding

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Myerscough

Released for publication October 30, 2001.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
WILLIAM DEAN PIPPEN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

Appeal from Circuit Court of Woodford County Nos. 99CF116; 99CF117; 99CF118 Honorable John B. Huschen, Judge Presiding

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Myerscough

PUBLISHED

 In October 1999, defendant, William Dean Pippen, pleaded guilty to six counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in an "open plea" and the State dismissed another count (720 ILCS 5/12-14.1(a)(1) (West 1998)). In November 1999, the trial court sentenced defendant to three consecutive 12-year sentences in No. 99-CF-116, to be served concurrently with a 6-year prison sentence in No. 99-CF-117, and concurrently with two 10-year consecutive prison sentences in No. 99-CF-118. Defendant appeals, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing defendant in light of the consecutive nature of the offenses and the mitigating factors present. The State contends that the trial court entered a void sentence, because it was required to enter consecutive sentences on all counts. We affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand with directions.

I. BACKGROUND

The factual basis for defendant's guilty plea is as follows. Defendant confessed to investigators, in Woodford County case No. 99-CF-116, that on approximately June 1, 1999, he placed his penis in the mouth of H.H., he touched H.H.'s vagina with his hand, and he touched H.H.'s vagina with his tongue. Defendant admitted to investigators, in Woodford County case No. 99-CF-117, that between September and October 1998, he touched H.H.'s vagina with his hand. Defendant admitted to investigators, in Woodford County case No. 99-CF-118, that in November 1998, defendant placed his penis in H.H.'s mouth and rubbed H.H.'s vagina with his hand. H.H. was 11 years old at the time of the three incidents and is defendant's stepdaughter; defendant was 39 years old.

In July 1999, the State charged defendant with four counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in No. 99-CF-116, one count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in No. 99-CF-117, and two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in No. 99-CF-118. In October 1999, the State dismissed one count in No. 99-CF-116, and defendant pleaded guilty to the remaining six counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

In November 1999, the State filed a presentence investigation report with the trial court. It revealed that defendant was employed as a well-driller's assistant and had briefly served in the United States Army. In 1998, he married Glenda Pippen, H.H.'s mother. Defendant had 1979 convictions for burglary and theft and 1985 convictions for possession of a hypodermic syringe and possession of cannabis. Defendant also had a number of convictions for traffic violations.

In November 1999, the trial court conducted a sentencing hearing. Glenda testified for the State that H.H. was her daughter, she was married to defendant, and they had all resided together since February 1998. She stated H.H. was currently doing well in pastoral counseling. She further testified that she still loves defendant, wants to be with him, and wants all of them to be a family again. Defendant testified of his regret over what happened and the hardship that would be placed on his family if the trial court sentenced him to prison.

In closing arguments, the prosecutor stressed the aggravating factors including the serious harm to H.H., defendant's prior criminal history, deterrence, and the position of trust defendant held over H.H. He recommended consecutive sentences of seven years on each of the six counts. Counsel for defendant stressed the nonviolent nature of defendant's prior criminal history, the ...


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