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People v. Boose

January 11, 2002

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
EMMANUEL J. BOOSE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County. No. 99-CF-3148 Honorable James K. Booras, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Callum

Opinion released for publication February 25, 2002.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
EMMANUEL J. BOOSE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County. No. 99-CF-3148 Honorable James K. Booras, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Callum

The State charged defendant, Emmanuel J. Boose, with residential burglary (720 ILCS 5/19--3(a) (West 2000)). The information alleged that he knowingly and without authority entered Marilyn Nelson's dwelling with the intent to commit criminal sexual assault (720 ILCS 5/12--13(a) (West 2000)). Following a bench trial, the court found him guilty and sentenced him to five years' imprisonment. Defendant appeals, arguing that (1) the State did not prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; and (2) the court erred in failing to conduct the proper balancing test before allowing the State to use his convictions to impeach him. We agree that the State did not establish defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and we therefore reverse his conviction and sentence.

Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence on two bases. First, he alleges that the victim's identification of him was not reliable. Second, he argues that the State did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the perpetrator entered the residence with the intent to commit criminal sexual assault. We agree with defendant's second contention and thus summarize only the evidence relevant to that issue.

BACKGROUND

On September 6, 1999, Marilyn Nelson went to sleep on the second floor of her residence. Nelson's three daughters slept with her in her bed, and her two sons slept in the room across the hall. Nelson slept in shorts and a T-shirt. At 3:58 a.m., Nelson awoke when she felt someone touch her thigh. She noticed a man in her bedroom. Nelson described the touch as lasting for "a quick second" on the inner part of her mid-thigh, underneath her shorts. Nelson immediately jumped up and screamed, and the man fled down the stairs.

Nelson called the police and described the intruder and his clothing. The police found defendant near Nelson's residence. Shortly thereafter, the police conducted a showup, and Nelson identified defendant as the intruder.

The State charged defendant with residential burglary, a Class 1 felony, alleging that he "knowingly and without authority, entered the dwelling place of Marilyn Nelson *** with the intent to commit criminal sexual assault." The parties presented a negotiated plea agreement in which defendant would plead guilty to misdemeanor battery and be sentenced to time served. The State explained to the trial court that it was offering the agreement because its case was weak. The assistant State's Attorney told the court that the initial charge was misdemeanor criminal trespass, but it was later upped to a felony. The following colloquy occurred:

"MS. FITZGERALD [Assistant State's Attorney]: [Nelson] remembers what happened, but she's going to have an ID problem. In and of that itself, Judge, you go to the underlying offense of proving that you broke into a house for purposes of sexual assault? How am I going to prove why he went there just for [sic] the rubbing of a leg? I have no fondling --

THE COURT: I don't know about that.

MS. FITZGERALD: That's the underlying offense. That he broke in with the purpose not to commit a theft, but the purpose to commit ...


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