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In re Detention of Hughes

April 10, 2003


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County. No. 99--MR--1054 Honorable Raymond J. McKoski, Judge, Presiding.



Respondent, Jackie Hughes, appeals from a jury trial in the circuit court of Lake County in which he was found to be a sexually dangerous person under the Sexually Dangerous Persons Act (the Act) (725 ILCS 205/0.01 through 12 (West 1998)) and was committed to the Illinois Department of Corrections. For the following reasons, we affirm the jury verdict and order of commitment.


On August 11, 1999, respondent was indicted on various charges pertaining to sex offenses involving minors. Respondent was taken into custody on these charges on July 22, 1999, and was denied bond on July 27, 1999. The trial court set the trial date for September 13, 1999.

On September 10, 1999, the trial court granted respondent's oral motion for a continuance and set the trial for October 13, 1999. On October 13, 1999, respondent moved to continue the trial because he needed to review DNA test results and possibly consult with an expert. The trial was continued until November 29, 1999.

On November 4, 1999, respondent filed a motion to suppress, which was heard on November 10 and 17, 1999. Also, on November 17, a hearing was conducted pursuant to section 115--10 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (the Code) (725 ILCS 5/115--10 (West 1998)). The section 115--10 hearing was continued to November 24, 1999.

On November 24, 1999, the State moved to continue the trial, asserting it needed more time to prepare the minor victims for trial because it had recently learned that one had a learning disability and the other was having difficulty speaking due to fear. Over respondent's objection, the trial court granted the State's motion and set the trial for January 10, 2000.

On December 30, 1999, the State filed its petition to declare respondent a sexually dangerous person. On that same date, respondent objected to the filing of the "sexually dangerous person" petition, objected to any further delay, and filed a demand for a speedy trial. The trial court set the matter for status on January 24, 2000, and for trial on February 14, 2000. Also, on December 30, 1999, the trial court suppressed certain statements respondent made to the police because the State failed to prove they were voluntary and failed to prove that respondent waived his right to counsel.

On January 5, 2000, the trial court denied respondent's motion to preclude disclosure to court-appointed psychiatrists of the previously suppressed statements he made to the police. On January 6, the trial court ordered respondent transported for a penile plethysmograph (plethysmograph) test and ordered respondent to cooperate with all psychiatrists and their testing. The trial court also ordered respondent to be transported on January 13, 2000, to Dr. Oris Wasyliw for psychological evaluation.

On February 14, 2000, the trial court granted the State's motion to reschedule the hearing to March 31, 2000. Respondent's counsel answered ready for the February 14 trial.

On March 21, an attorney from the public defender's office moved for a continuance because respondent's former counsel had left the public defender's office. The trial court continued the trial to June 5, 2000. On June 2, respondent requested another continuance, and the trial was set for August 14, 2000. The jury trial commenced on August 14, 2000.

During jury selection, the State exercised a peremptory challenge against juror 135. Respondent objected because juror 135 was the only black person in the venire. The trial court commented that the challenged venire person was "the only African-American in the whole courtroom" and found that, balanced "with the other factors," respondent had established a prima facie case of discrimination. The trial court then asked the State to offer a race-neutral reason for challenging juror 135.

The State contended it was challenging juror 135 because she had given birth to a child at the age of 17 and her son had also had a child at 17 years old. The State further argued that juror 135 did not know the names of the companies employing her children or where their spouses worked. The State also pointed to the fact that the juror had two children who did not work.

The State further offered that, "based on her response[,] she doesn't understand things, she is having difficulty listening. It would seem difficult to me that she doesn't know where her husband worked. Took her awhile to remember." The State contended that, based on juror 135's response, it did not believe "she is perhaps understanding."

The trial court ruled that the State had not offered a race-neutral reason for challenging juror 135. The State asked for time to submit case law on the issue of race-neutral reasons for excusing jurors. The trial court allowed the State to do so and allowed the parties to "backstrike" a juror if appropriate.

During his portion of the voir dire, respondent asked juror 135 if she could be fair and impartial regarding testimony from a psychologist or psychiatrist. She responded, "I guess so according to what it is all about, you know. I suppose yes, because I wouldn't know nothing about the person was under the strain."

After lunch, the State submitted several cases to the trial court. The State further argued that, as to the question of impartiality regarding psychological or psychiatric testimony, juror 135 "seemed not to understand really the issue or the questions. She did not provide a clear and unequivocal answer to that one way or the other, and seemed that she may have trouble following that proposition of law." The trial court put off its ruling until all the jurors had been selected.

The next morning, the trial court allowed both sides to further argue about the race-neutral issue as to juror 135. The State noted that, when asked if any member of her family had ever been arrested or convicted, juror 135 said no. The State had checked the evening before (August 14, 2000) and discovered her son was currently on probation for domestic battery and had prior felony convictions. Thus, the State contended that juror 135 was "mistaken or gave the Court misinformation." The State then stated that "this is yet another reason that we would add to the reasons we stated yesterday which certainly is a race neutral reason, certainly a valid reason for dismissing any juror that, in fact, there is a pending case not against her but against one of her children."

After listening to the court reporter read back respondent's counsel's voir dire and juror 135's responses, the trial court reversed its ruling, finding the State presented race-neutral reasons for excusing juror 135. The trial court explained that it considered juror 135's answer about impartiality to be equivocal, because she answered "I guess so," and that the State could consider that answer to be a race-neutral reason to challenge juror 135 because the State was "relying on a big chunk of [its] case being a psychiatrist." The trial court also considered the fact that juror 135 incorrectly answered no to the question of whether any family member had ever been arrested or convicted to be a race-neutral reason. The court further explained that, while the State raised the issue of conviction late, it could not "hold that against the State," because it allowed the parties further argument and had delayed its ruling accordingly. The trial court agreed with respondent that having a child at age 17 and having two unemployed children are not race-neutral reasons. The trial court also did not consider the juror's delay in remembering where her husband worked to be a race-neutral justification. Nor did the trial court agree that juror 135 had difficulty listening. The trial court then struck juror 135.

In addition to the other evidence at trial, the State offered the expert testimony of several witnesses. Oris Wasyliw, the director of adult clinical psychology at the Isaac Ray Center in Chicago, testified that he evaluated respondent. As part of that evaluation, he conducted a clinical interview of respondent as well as several objective tests. Wasyliw also reviewed prior evaluations, prior treatment records, police reports, and court documents.

According to Wasyliw, in the interview respondent said that he was attracted to young girls because of how they conducted themselves, including how they talked about what they saw their mothers do with their mothers' boyfriends. To Wasyliw, this meant that respondent was not talking about an individual but about an idea he had of how children conducted themselves as a group.

As for objective tests, Wasyliw administered a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). The MMPI determines whether a subject is being honest and whether he is exaggerating or minimizing a problem. It further assesses the presence, type, and severity of any emotional difficulties. The MMPI showed that respondent was minimizing or denying his problems. The test also indicated a very high score on the scale of anti-social personality and hostility.

Wasyliw also conducted a Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI). Though similar to the MMPI, the MCMI is designed to conform more closely to the manual of mental health disorders that psychologists and psychiatrists use for classifying disorders.

The MCMI results were consistent with the MMPI in showing that respondent was trying to minimize or deny problems or areas of difficulty in his life. According to Wasyliw, that is a complicated way of saying that respondent is "hiding something."

Wasyliw also conducted a Rorschach inkblot test. The test showed that respondent is under a substantial amount of tension and somewhat emotionally fragile, suggesting that under increased stress he could have emotional problems. Second, it showed that respondent has very poor judgment in understanding other people. Third, the results indicated that respondent has a substantially narcissistic personality, which means he has an inflated view of himself and blames others when something goes wrong. According to Wasyliw, this indicates respondent does not accept responsibility for his actions.

Based upon his entire evaluation, Wasyliw opined that respondent suffered from a paraphilia disorder, which is a sexual arousal occasioned by something that society considers inappropriate and which can cause harm to either the individual or another person. Specifically, respondent suffers from pedophilia in that he is sexually attracted to female children and children outside his own family. Wasyliw further opined that respondent continues to be at risk for inappropriate sexual behavior because of his lack of insight into his problem, his minimizing or hiding of his problem, and his lack of motivation to change. Further, Wasyliw found this significant in light of respondent having been involved in treatment for over three years.

The State also offered the testimony of Rodgers Wilson, a forensic psychiatrist, also employed at the Isaac Ray Center. Wilson reviewed records, police reports, and test results for respondent. He also conducted a clinical interview of respondent.

Based on his review of medical records, his clinical interview, police reports, an Able screening test, which assesses sexual interest, and plethysmograph test results, Wilson concluded that respondent is a sexually dangerous person. Specifically, he opined that respondent is a pedophile and that he presents an ongoing risk to society. Wilson defined "pedophile" as a person "who has demonstrated dangerous sexual behaviors that pose a risk to society." The three factors that are considered in that diagnosis are the level of psychological disease, the person's insight into the disease and how it impacts others, ...

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