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People v. Trainor

March 27, 2003


Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit La Salle County, Illinois, No. 83-CF-266 Honorable H. Christopher Ryan, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Slater


The respondent, Timothy Trainor, was adjudicated a sexually dangerous person in May 1984. In the past, he has filed several petitions for recovery which have been denied. In 1998, he filed his third petition for recovery. See 725 ILCS 205/9 (West 1998). In response to the petition, the State filed a motion for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. On appeal, this court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. See People v. Trainor, 312 Ill. App. 3d 860, 728 N.E.2d 74 (2000) (summary judgment is inappropriate in sexually dangerous persons proceedings). Our supreme court affirmed. People v. Trainor, 196 Ill. 2d 318, 752 N.E.2d 1055 (2001). On remand, a jury trial was held. The jury found that the respondent was still a sexually dangerous person and denied his petition for recovery. He appeals from that verdict. On appeal, the respondent argues: (1) the State did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that he was still sexually dangerous; and (2) the trial court erred in its response to a question from the jury during deliberations. For the following reasons, we affirm.


At trial, Dr. Mark Carich testified for the State. Carich has a bachelor's degree in psychology as well as a master's degree and a Ph.D. in counseling. He coordinates the sexually dangerous persons program at Big Muddy River correctional center. The respondent was placed in the sexually dangerous persons program in 1984 after molesting five children.

Carich testified that he was one of the respondent's group therapists from 1989 to 1995. Although Carich does not currently treat the respondent on a weekly basis, he said that the therapists in charge of the respondent's sessions report to Carich about the respondent's performance. Additionally, Carich personally interviews the respondent each time he files a petition for recovery.

Carich explained that when he is evaluating a patient who has filed a petition for recovery, he uses 15 factors to determine if the patient has recovered: (1) motivation towards recovery; (2) commitment toward recovery; (3) personal responsibility; (4) social interest; (5) social dimension or relationships; (6) insight into one's offending cycle; (7) change in lifestyle; (8) insight into one's developmental/motivational factors; (9) resolution of developmental/motivational dynamics; (10) sexual identity issues; (11) control of deviant arousal or behavior; (12) level of psycho pathology; (13) level of disowning behaviors; (14) relapse intervention skills; and (15) self-structure in general.

Carich testified at length about the respondent's level of recovery in each of the 15 categories. Generally, Carich said, the respondent had little motivation or commitment to recovery. He had been suspended from the program 13 times since 1996. An offender has to miss four sessions to receive one suspension. In addition, the respondent did not attend therapy at all from December 1998 until June 2000. When he did attend a session, his participation was sporadic.

Carich said that the respondent did not take responsibility for his actions. In his interview with Carich, the respondent only admitted to molesting three children, when he had actually molested five. Carich noted that the respondent has some empathy for his victims, but he mostly expresses self-pity because he was molested at age 15. Carich described the respondent as having a combination of personality characteristics, including antisocial behavior, chronic lying, and deceitfulness.

Carich further testified that the respondent had some insight into why he offends, but he still needs work in that area. He said the respondent is borderline mentally retarded, which causes him to have difficulty learning and processing information. However, Carich said that the respondent's I.Q. is taken into account when he is assessing his success in each of these categories. Carich noted that the respondent has an inferiority complex and low self-esteem. He told Carich that if he were released, he would have to live with other people or he might revert to his previous lifestyle.

Carich then testified about other tests that he had used to determine the respondent's likelihood to re-offend. Finally, Carich said that it was his opinion within a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the respondent was still a sexually dangerous person who was at high risk for re-offending if he were released into the community.

On cross-examination, Carich noted that after the respondent filed his petition for recovery, he had a one hour interview with Carich. The information garnered from that interview served as the basis for the socio-psychiatric report. Carich was then asked what would happen to the respondent if the jury in this case found that he appeared to no longer be dangerous, but it was impossible for them to determine this with certainty while he was under the conditions of institutional care. Carich answered that the respondent would then go back to Big Muddy River and not be released.

Next, Dr. Jatala, the DOC psychiatrist, testified that he was familiar with the respondent and that he had seen him four times over the past 4½ years. When Jatala asked the respondent what he had learned from being incarcerated, the respondent told him that he learned what was wrong and what was right. The respondent told him that he molested children because he was molested when he was 15 years old. Jatala asked the respondent how he was going to avoid re-offending if he were released. The respondent said that he was going to watch his environment. Based upon his examination and the respondent's case file, Jatala diagnosed the respondent with pedophilia and borderline intellectual function. Jatala also agreed with Carich that the respondent was still at high risk for re-offending if released back into society.

The respondent testified that he was adjudicated a sexually dangerous person in 1984 after he had molested five children, two of whom were his biological children. He said that he had been sexually molested by a male nurse when he was young. The respondent noted that he felt sadness for the children that he molested and that he had no attraction to children anymore. If ...

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