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In re Samantha V.

September 24, 2009

IN RE SAMANTHA V., A MINOR
(THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,
v.
SAMANTHA V., APPELLANT).



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Justice Fitzgerald

Justices Freeman, Thomas, Kilbride, Garman, Karmeier, and Burke concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Respondent, Samantha V., was found delinquent in the circuit court of Cook County for two offenses, aggravated battery that caused great bodily harm (720 ILCS 5/12--4(a) (West 2004)) and aggravated battery on a public way (720 ILCS 5/12--4(b)(8) (West 2004)). After a dispositional hearing, she was sentenced to 5 years' probation and 40 hours of community service. In addition, respondent was ordered to refrain from loitering in Bosley Park after 6 p.m., abide by a 9 p.m. curfew, and submit a DNA sample. The appellate court affirmed the adjudication and dispositional findings, but remanded the matter for clarification of the loitering condition of her probation. No. 1--06--0580 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23). We granted respondent's petition for leave to appeal (210 Ill. 2d R. 315(a)), and now consider whether the one-act, one-crime rule applies in juvenile cases and, if so, whether respondent was found delinquent for two offenses arising from the same physical act, in violation of that rule. For the reasons that follow, we reverse in part, and remand with directions.

BACKGROUND

The 14-year-old respondent was found delinquent on a theory of accountability for two counts of aggravated battery stemming from the group beating of Rosalinda Rodriguez, a 20-year-old woman. The State's evidence demonstrated that a group of girls, ranging in age from 12 to 15 years old, were walking down Farrell Street in the City of Chicago at approximately 11 p.m. on June 10, 2005. Rosalinda was at her home, located on Farrell Street, with her two younger sisters and a neighbor when she heard a "commotion" and looked out of her window. Rosalinda saw respondent and seven other girls standing by the gate to her property. According to Rosalinda, some of the girls were on her property and some were outside the gate. Rosalinda explained that she knew all the girls, either personally or from seeing them around the neighborhood, and walked outside because she did not want the girls to enter her property or allow her dog to escape the fenced-in yard. One of the girls in the group, Jessica M., mumbled something to Rosalinda, and when Rosalinda said "What?" Jessica M. punched her in the face. Rosalinda explained that she and Jessica M. began punching each other and were eventually fighting in the street. The other girls who were with Jessica, including respondent, surrounded Rosalinda and began cheering as Jessica M. got on top of her, scratched her eyes, pulled her hair, hit her head against the cement, and hit her with a bottle.

Rosalinda testified that the other girls in the group kicked her while she was lying on the ground, pinned down by Jessica M. Rosalinda specifically identified respondent as one of the girls who kicked her. She admitted that she did not see respondent's foot come in contact with her body, but stated that she felt kicks coming from the area where respondent was standing. The beating ended when a neighbor, along with Rosalinda's brother, pulled Jessica M. away from Rosalinda. Rosalinda testified that she went to the hospital and received nine stitches on her right eyebrow. She also suffered numerous scrapes, cuts, and bruises.

Priscilla Rodriguez, Rosalinda's 12-year-old sister, witnessed part of the attack. Priscilla stated that she knew respondent before the attack and saw respondent kick Rosalinda while Rosalinda was on the ground being beaten by Jessica M.

The defense presented the testimony of Emmanuel Fabela who lives near Rosalinda on Farrell Street. Fabela stated he witnessed the fight between Jessica M. and Rosalinda while standing on his porch smoking a cigarette. Fabela stated that he knew all of the girls involved in the fight from seeing them in the neighborhood, but did not know them personally. Fabela saw the group walking on Farrell Street and noticed them because they were being unusually loud. He saw Rosalinda come out of her house, jump over the fence, and walk to the girls until she was standing face-to-face with Jessica M. Fabela stated that Rosalinda pushed Jessica M., and then they started fighting. Fabela averred that the fight was strictly between Rosalinda and Jessica M. Although the other girls were standing around, he did not see any of them kick Rosalinda.

Ashley M., who was also charged in this case, admitted that she was part of the group that was involved in the altercation, but stated that respondent was not present when the fight started. Jessica M. likewise testified that respondent was not at the scene. Oscar Moya testified that he was with respondent on June 10, 2005, between 10:30 and 11 p.m. Oscar stated that he accompanied respondent to her home so she could "check in." While in respondent's backyard, Oscar heard screaming which was coming from down the block. He and respondent ran toward the area of the fight and arrived as a man was pulling Rosalinda and Jessica M. apart.

The trial court entered findings of delinquency for both counts charged: aggravated battery that caused great bodily harm and aggravated battery on a public way. The trial court entered a "Trial Order" which indicated that respondent was "found guilty as to *** all counts 1 2." The court then ordered the probation department to conduct a social investigation and continued the matter for a dispositional hearing. A social investigation report was presented to the court and made part of the record. The report indicated that respondent was found delinquent for two counts of aggravated battery.

After the dispositional hearing, the trial court entered a "Sentencing Order" making respondent a ward of the court and placing her on probation for five years. A "Probation Order" was also entered which indicated that respondent was ordered to complete five years of probation with the following conditions: attend school daily and comply with school rules, complete 40 hours of community service, write an essay about what she learned from community service, attend a victim impact panel, refrain from gang activity, refrain from loitering in Bosley Park after 6 p.m., abide by a 9 p.m. curfew, and submit to a DNA sample.

Respondent appealed, contesting the sufficiency of the evidence against her, the constitutionality of the trial court's orders which barred her from Bosley Park and compelled her to provide a DNA profile, and the propriety of the court's adjudication for two counts of aggravated battery in light of the one-act, one-crime rule. The appellate court affirmed, but remanded the matter for revision and clarification of the condition of her probation which prohibited her from "loitering" in Bosley Park. We granted leave to appeal.

ANALYSIS

Before addressing the parties' claims, we review the three phases of juvenile delinquency proceedings provided for in the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (Act) (705 ILCS 405/5--101 et seq. (West 2004)); the findings phase, the adjudicatory phase, and the dispositional phase. People ex rel. Devine v. Stralka, 226 Ill. 2d 445, 451 (2007). The findings phase consists of a trial and determination of guilt. 705 ILCS 405/5--601 through 5--625 (West 2004); Stralka, 226 Ill. 2d at 451. During this phase, the trial court applies the reasonable doubt standard of proof and the rules of evidence that would be followed in a criminal case to determine whether the minor should be found delinquent. 705 ILCS 405/5--605(3)(a) (West 2004); Stralka, 226 Ill. 2d at 452. If a delinquency finding is entered, the matter proceeds to sentencing. 705 ILCS 405/5--620 (West 2004); Stralka, 226 Ill. 2d at 452. The sentencing proceeding includes the adjudication phase, where the court determines whether it is in the best interests of the minor and the public to make the minor a ward of the court. 705 ILCS 405/5--705(1) (West ...


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