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People v. Quintana

June 19, 2002


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Kenneth J. Wadas, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice South


On February 19, 1999, defendants Carmelo Quintana and Jorge Navarrete were charged with five counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, four counts of aggravated kidnaping, one count of criminal sexual assault, and two counts of kidnaping. In a bench trial, defendants were simultaneously but separately tried and found guilty of aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnaping. Quintana was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment on the aggravated criminal sexual assault charge and 6 years for aggravated kidnaping. Navarrete received a 20-year sentence for the aggravated criminal sexual assault conviction and 6 years for aggravated kidnaping. Both of defendants' sentences run consecutively.

The evidence adduced at trial was as follows: the victim, L.D., testified that on January 21, 1999, at approximately 9 p.m., she was walking home from her mother's house on 51st Street a block past Western Avenue towards California Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. She walked in the street because the sidewalks were covered with snow and ice. As she was walking, a gold Ford Aerostar van drove alongside her, and someone pulled her inside the vehicle. Dagoberto Alvorado was driving the van, defendant Navarrete sat in the middle seat behind the driver and passenger seats, and defendant Quintana sat in the third rear seat behind the middle seat. L.D. was pulled into the middle seat with Navarrete. Quintana held her from behind while Navarrete struck her with a beer bottle and told her what he wanted to do to her. She began to take off her pants in order to avoid being struck again, and Navarrete pulled them off the rest of the way and lowered his own pants. He then laid on top of her and attempted to have intercourse with her. He rubbed his penis against her vagina, but there was no penetration. Quintana slapped her legs and buttocks and laughed. Navarrete got off of her, at which time she tried to escape through the side door but was pulled back into the van. Navarrete told Quintana to watch L.D. and make sure that she did not escape. L.D. asked defendants to release her, but they refused. In order to have a better chance of escaping, she suggested to defendants that she get on top of Navarrete. At that time, Navarrete's penis made contact with her vagina. She then struck Navarrete and jumped between the driver and passenger front seats and out of the front passenger door. Defendants pushed her out as she was escaping the moving van. L.D. sprained her ankle and bruised her knees and ankles as a result of jumping from the moving van. She also sustained bruises and lacerations to her throat, face and jaw. When she jumped out of the van she was wearing only a blouse and a sock because her jeans, coat, scarf, sock and boots were still in the van. L.D. was taken to Holy Cross Hospital, where she was treated and released.

On January 22, 1999, the police brought L.D. to a van which she identified as the vehicle in which she was assaulted. She also identified some of her clothing, which was found inside the van. Later she viewed a lineup and identified defendants as the men who sexually assaulted her.

L.D. testified that she had two convictions for possession of a controlled substance and admitted to using her sister's name at the time of the arrests. She denied being arrested for prostitution and denied agreeing to have sex with defendants, although she did admit to drinking with her family on the day of the attack.

Clarisa Figuero testified on behalf of the State that at approximately 9 p.m. on January 21, 1999, she was walking down the street when she observed the driver's side of a gold Ford Aerostar van which was speeding through an alley. She could only see shadows but not the people inside. The van momentarily slowed down, and immediately thereafter she saw L.D. standing in the alley wearing only a shirt. Figuero approached L.D., who was screaming that she had been raped. L.D. was bleeding from her mouth and had cuts on her face and neck. Figuero gave her her coat and walked with her to a neighbor's house where they called the police.

Figuero further testified that on January 22, 1999, the police came to her home and asked her to identify the vehicle she saw driving through the alley. Figuero had seen the van in the neighborhood and knew the owner. She identified the van by its color and the objects that were hanging from the rearview mirror.

Chicago police officer Stephanie Quinn testified that on January 22, 1999, she and her partner, Officer Kenny Cap, picked up L.D. from her home and drove her to a van on 44st Street and Francisco Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. L.D. identified the van as the one in which she had been assaulted on the prior evening. On January 22, 1999, Officers Williams and Fleming were conducting surveillance on Navarrete's van and home. When he came out of the house, they asked him for identification, which he said was inside the house. They followed him into the house, found Quintana in the kitchen and placed both men under arrest.

Chicago police detective Sarro Komorowski testified that he interviewed L.D. on February 26, 1999. He observed lacerations and bruises on her. In describing the attack, L.D. told him that she pulled down her pants at the time of the attack because she was frightened and wanted to avoid being struck again. She also told him that Navarrete finished pulling off her pants because she was taking too long. She told Komorowski that Navarrete had sex with her and that she got on top of Navarrete in order to escape, but she was afraid of being under him. She also told Komorowski that Navarrete inserted his penis inside her more than once. Komorowski's report reflected that L.D. told him that Navarrete's penis was inside her, but he could not remember if L.D. had told him that. L.D. told Komorowski that Navarrete's penis was between her legs and against her vagina, partially between her labia and partially inside her vagina, and that the position of Navarrete's penis varied according to L.D.'s position with respect to Navarrete and whether or not they were struggling.

Chicago police officer Eduardo Casas testified that on January 22, 1999, he was a certified Spanish language specialist for the police department and assisted in the investigation of L.D.'s case by translating the conversations between Chicago police detectives Komorowski and Adams and defendants. Casas advised Quintana of his Miranda rights in Spanish, and he also advised Navarrete of his Miranda rights in Spanish. Casas assisted Assistant State's Attorney Clarissa Palermo in Navarrete's interview, and Navarrete agreed to reduce his statement to writing. Palermo and Casas spoke with Quintana, and he agreed to put his statement in writing. Casas advised defendants of their Miranda rights in Spanish prior to their interview with Palermo.

Quintana's statement read that on January 21, 1999, around 8 p.m., Alvarado was driving Navarrete's van with Quintana and Navarrete in the passenger seats. They picked up L.D. around 51st Street and Damen Avenue because she had asked for a ride while walking in the street. L.D. sat next to Alvarado in the front passenger seat. As Alvarado drove near an alley at 46th Street and Rockwell Street, he stopped the van, and Navarrete pulled the victim into the backseat and attempted to pull off her pants. She struggled against him, and he slapped her face. Navarrete attempted to have sex with the victim, who said "no" while he tried to pull down her pants. Navarrete stopped having sex with L.D. for two minutes then grabbed her again. Quintana covered the victim's mouth when she screamed. Quintana watched Navarrete have sex with her and grabbed her when she tried to escape. L.D. repositioned herself on top of Navarrete and had sex with him. Quintana slapped L.D. on the buttocks while she was on top of Navarrete. Five minutes later, L.D. jumped off Navarrete and out the front passenger door wearing only a T-shirt. Later Navarrete put L.D.'s clothes in a plastic bag and gave it to Quintana, who placed it in a garbage can in an alley.

Navarrete's statement read that on January 21, 1999, around 7:30 or 8 p.m., he was in his van with Quintana and Alvarado around 51st Street and Damen Avenue. Navarrete saw L.D. walking down the street and agreed to give her a ride. Navarrete drove the van into an alley near 45th and Rockwell Street, stopped the van, and pushed L.D. into the backseat. Navarrete climbed into the backseat and tried to remove L.D.'s pants, at which time she began screaming. Quintana covered her mouth and restrained her. L.D. asked defendants not to hurt her and began removing her pants. She said "no" three times. Navarrete finished pulling off her pants, pulled down his pants, got on top of the victim and began rubbing his penis against her. Navarrete told Quintana to watch the door in case she tried to escape. Navarrete laid down and L.D. got on top of him. He held her under the arms while she was on top. His penis was partially inside her vagina for 10 minutes. As the van approached 44th Street and Washtenaw Street, the victim got off Navarrete and jumped out of the front passenger door wearing only a T-shirt. Defendants drove away. Navarrete found L.D.'s clothes, and Quintana threw them into a garbage can.

At trial, Quintana testified that on January 21, 1999, around 7 p.m., he was in Navarrete's van with Alvarado and Navarrete, who was driving. Alvarado sat in the middle seat, and Quintana sat in the far rear seat. They drove to a liquor store near 51st Street and Damen Avenue where Navarrete exited the van and vomited. L.D. approached Navarrete, asked him for a ride home, and got into the van. Navarrete sat in the driver's seat, and L.D. sat in the front passenger's seat. They drove towards 45th Street and Western Avenue to a friend's home. Alvarado asked L.D. if she wanted a beer, and she said yes. Everyone drank beer, including L.D. Quintana testified that Alvarado spoke English to the woman, but he could not understand what they were saying. Alvarado asked L.D. in English if she wanted to have sex, and she said "no." She drank another beer, and Alvarado asked her again if she wanted to have sex with him. At this time, she said that she would have sex if he paid her. Quintana testified that Alvarado asked Navarrete to drive to an alley. The van stopped, and Alvarado went to the front passenger door and opened it. L.D. told Alvarado to get in the back seat. Alvarado and L.D. had sex in the middle seat with Alvarado on top. They changed positions, and L.D. got on top of Alvarado. Navarrete began driving, and when they reached 43rd Street and Washtenaw Street, Alvarado and L.D. began arguing in English. At that time, she jumped out of the front passenger side door. Quintana also testified that he did not have sex with L.D. nor did he hit, restrain or laugh at her. Navarrete stopped the van and asked why she had left. Alvarado ...

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