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People v. Gilford

December 24, 2002

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
MICHAEL GILFORD, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Circuit Court of Cook County No. 95 C4 41108 Honorable Themis N. Karnezis, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Hall

On December 16, 1997, following a jury trial, defendant Michael Gilford was convicted of two counts of criminal sexual assault and two counts of criminal sexual abuse of T.A. Defendant filed a timely posttrial motion, which was denied. On February 23, 1998, defendant was sentenced to two consecutive 30 year terms of imprisonment. On March 16, 1998, defendant filed a timely motion to reduce his sentence, which was subsequently denied. Defendant then filed a timely notice of appeal on March 27, 1998.

On June 30, 1999, on direct appeal, this court reversed defendant's convictions and remanded the action for retrial. People v. Gilford, No. 1-98-1346 (1999) (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23 (166 Ill. 2d R. 23)). We found that the State's evidence was sufficient to find defendant guilty of criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse beyond a reasonable doubt. We also found, however, that certain trial court errors denied defendant a fair trial and needed to be cured upon remand. This court indicated that upon remand: (1) defendant was entitled to have his own expert physically examine T.A. in order to determine whether her physical disability *fn1 affected her ability to move her head and neck; (2) the trial court should not unduly limit defendant's cross-examination of Doctor Rom-Rymer, the State's expert witness; and (3) if the trial court's in camera review of T.A.'s psychological records revealed that the records contained no exculpatory material, the trial court should impound the records and preserve them for appellate review.

The matter was remanded to the trial court by mandate issued on January 4, 2000. Defendant made his $250,000 bail bond. On May 4, 2000, after discovery had been tendered and a number of continuances granted, the State sought to revoke defendant's bond on the basis that defendant had violated the conditions of the bond by being found on school grounds. Defense counsel argued that defendant was on the school's grounds because he had driven to the school to pick up his wife, who was employed as a nurse at the school. The trial court subsequently rejected the State's argument that the bond should be revoked and instead modified the conditions of the bond and put defendant on 24-hour home confinement with the exception that defendant could see his attorney, attend church and attend court-ordered counseling, if he gave 24-hour advanced notice to pretrial services. The trial court set the trial date for July 2000 but reset it to August 14, 2000, due to witness unavailability.

On June 23, 2000, approximately two months before defendant's criminal trial was to begin, the State filed a civil commitment petition to have defendant declared a sexually dangerous person as that term is defined in section 1.01 of the Illinois Sexually Dangerous Persons Act (the Act) (725 ILCS 205/1.01 (West 1996)) *fn2 . On August 7, 2000, the trial court denied defendant's motion to dismiss the State's petition and instead directed that pursuant to section 4 of the Act defendant be examined by two qualified psychiatrists in order to ascertain if he was sexually dangerous. *fn3

At the hearing on the State's petition, conducted in December 2000, the State presented the testimony of Dr. Mathew S. Markos, a psychiatrist at the Forensic Clinical Services of the circuit court of Cook County, Dr. Roger M. Wilson, a psychiatrist at the Isaac Ray Center, a part of Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, and Dr. Orest E. Wasyliw, a forensic psychologist at the Isaac Ray Center. The parties stipulated that the doctors were experts in their respective fields.

At the hearing, Dr. Markos testified that he examined defendant on August 29 and 30 of 2000. The purpose of the first examination was to determine if defendant suffered from any specific mental disorder that had lasted for at least one year and that may have increased defendant's propensity for criminal sexual behavior toward children and others. Prior to examining defendant, Dr. Markos reviewed the following documents: (1) the State's petition; (2) the transcripts related to this court's Rule 23 order dated June 30, 1999, regarding defendant's sexual conduct with T.A.; (3) police and investigative reports pertaining to defendant's sexual misconduct with J.G. as well as Melissa K. *fn4 and T.A.; and (4) Department of Children and Family Services records pertaining to defendant. Dr. Markos also reviewed a report of an incident wherein defendant allegedly sexually molested Danille H., a 15-year-old babysitter, who babysat for defendant and his wife's two children.

Dr. Markos' second examination was devoted to an evaluation of defendant's psychosexual development. During this second examination, Dr. Markos obtained information regarding defendant's sexual history, starting with his sexual development. The doctor investigated defendant's sexual behavior and fantasies, both normal and deviant. Based on the two independent examinations, Dr. Markos opined that defendant was suffering from the mental disorder of pedophilia, which the doctor believed had existed for a period of not less than one year. Dr. Markos further opined that defendant's pedophilia was predominantly directed toward young females and was coupled with the criminal propensity to the commission of sex offenses. Dr. Markos went on to state that, in his opinion, defendant met the statutory criteria of a sexually dangerous person.

On cross-examination, Dr. Markos testified that he was aware that after defendant's convictions for engaging in sexual misconduct with J.G. and Melissa K., defendant had received treatment and therapy. The doctor testified, however, that in his opinion even though defendant received therapy, and even though there had been no reports of repeat sexual misconduct by defendant subsequent to the therapy he received, these factors alone did not indicate that the therapy was successful. Dr. Markos testified that, in his opinion, defendant still had pedophilic impulses of which he had not been cured. Dr. Markos conceded that his opinion regarding defendant's present propensity to commit further sexual offenses was based on defendant's pedophilic behavior that occurred more than 10 years ago.

Dr. Wilson testified that he evaluated defendant in August 2000. Prior to examining defendant, Dr. Wilson reviewed the same documents that Dr. Markos had reviewed in preparation for his examination of defendant. Dr. Wilson testified that his evaluation of defendant began with a clinical interview wherein he asked defendant to discuss his sexual history and previous sexual conduct. During the interview, defendant admitted that in addition to sexually molesting J.G. and Melissa K., he also molested his young son during the same period. Dr. Wilson testified that when he asked defendant if this type of conduct might occur again, defendant replied, "I don't know if this will happen again. Like alcohol, you must always be aware." On cross-examination, Dr. Wilson testified that pedophilia is a mental disorder that, like alcoholism, is a life-long illness that cannot be cured. The doctor agreed that an individual who was diagnosed as a pedophile some 10 years earlier would always have a propensity to commit that type of behavior again. The doctor explained that a pedophile is never cured, but, rather, the possible recidivism can be reduced.

Dr. Wilson testified that after he conducted his clinical interview of defendant, a forensic nurse gave defendant an "Abel questionnaire" to evaluate his sexual interests; defendant then underwent an "Abel Screening," which visually assessed his sexual interests; defendant was also tested by a device called a plethysmograph, which measured the changes in the circumference of defendant's penis in response to 22 audiovisual videotapes; defendant also underwent a "Q-Sort" test wherein he viewed various pictures of adult men and women and young boys and girls.

On the "Abel questionnaire" defendant scored 32; a score of 23 or less would be a deviation from the norm. On the sexual cognitive distortion and immaturity test, defendant scored 2 out of 20; a score of 3 or less suggests few if any cognitive distortion problems. The "Abel screening" showed that defendant had an interest in adult females with a slightly higher interest in adolescent females. The "Abel screening" also indicated that defendant appeared to be interested in adult males, frotteurism involving adult females and exhibitionism involving adult females.

On cross-examination, Dr. Wilson testified that the indication of frotteurism was not derived from any documented behavior, but from defendant's fantasies and urges. However, Dr. Wilson conceded that defendant did not tell him about any fantasies that specifically indicated frotteurism. Dr. Wilson testified that the indication of exhibitionism was not derived from any documented behavior, but from the amount of time defendant spent viewing a specific picture during the "Abel Screening" assessment. The results from the plethysmograph were equivocal, with defendant showing some responsiveness to underage females in coercive and non-coercive situations. On the "Q-Sort" test, defendant showed a moderate interest in adult women and adolescent girls.

Based on defendant's self-reports of child sexual abuse, police records, and the data that Dr. Wilson collected from the tests defendant underwent, the doctor opined that defendant was suffering from the mental disorder of paraphilia with features of pedophilia, ephebophilia, exhibitionism, frotteurism, and sadism. Dr. Wilson believed that defendant's mental disorder had existed for not less than one year. Dr. Wilson further opined that defendant continued to possess a criminal propensity to engage in criminal sexual behavior toward minors, adolescents and adults. Dr. Wilson went on to state that, in his opinion, defendant was a ...


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