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The People of the State of Illinois v. Frederick T. Childs

March 4, 2011

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
FREDERICK T. CHILDS,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of McLean County No. 08CF426 Honorable Charles G. Reynard, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Steigmann

JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

Presiding Justice Knecht and Justice McCullough concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

In May 2009, the trial court found defendant, Frederick T. Childs, guilty of attempt (aggravated criminal sexual assault) (720 ILCS 5/8-4(a), 12-14(a)(2) (West 2008)) and later sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

Defendant appeals, arguing that (1) the State's charging instrument was defective; (2) the trial court erred by finding that the State was required only to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to commit the offense of criminal sexual assault to convict him of attempt (aggravated criminal sexual assault); and (3) the McLean County circuit clerk lacked the authority to impose a (a) $10 drug-court fee and (b) $15 children's-advocacy-center fee under sections 5-1101(d-5) and 5-1101(f-5), respectively, of the Counties Code (55 ILCS 5/5-1101(d-5), (f-5) (West 2008)).

Because we accept the State's concession that the circuit clerk erred by imposing certain fees, we affirm defendant's conviction and sentence as modified and remand for issuance of an amended sentencing judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

A. The Indictment

In April 2008, a grand jury indicted defendant, alleging that he committed the following offense:

"Attempted Aggravated Criminal Sexual

Assault[.]

In that the defendant knowingly and with the intent to commit criminal sexual assault by the use of force took a substantial step toward the commission of that offense by hitting the victim, C.B., about the body, thereby causing bruising to C.B., and by ordering C.B. to remove her pants, and by removing his penis from his pants."

B. The Stipulated Evidence Presented to the Trial Court At an April 2009 stipulated bench trial, the parties agreed to the admission of (1) written statements by (a) the victim, C.B., who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, and (b) a Bloomington police officer; (2) a police crime lab report; and (3) several photographs, which showed the following.

On April 4, 2008, C.B. decided to leave a party and drive home. When C.B. informed her friends that she was leaving, defendant asked C.B. if she would give him a ride to his apartment. C.B. reluctantly agreed, noting that despite being at defendant's apartment with her friends on three previous occasions, she only knew defendant by his nickname.

As C.B. drove, defendant repeatedly reached over and rubbed C.B.'s thigh with his hand. Each time defendant touched C.B., she pushed him away and told him to stop. When C.B. arrived at defendant's apartment building, defendant suddenly grabbed C.B.'s steering wheel and told C.B. that she was (1) "not going anywhere" and (2) "was going to have sex with him that night." C.B. cried and shouted that she was not going to have sex with defendant and that she needed to go home. Defendant responded, "You're not going anywhere, bitch," adding, "You're gonna stay here and I'm gonna fuck you, bitch." Defendant then shifted C.B.'s car into park and removed the ignition key.

Defendant unzipped his trousers, exposed his penis, and told C.B., "You're gonna suck my dick, bitch." and "I'm gonna get some head from you." C.B. refused, again yelling that she had to go home. Defendant then (1) pulled his trousers up, (2) exited the car, (3) dangled C.B.'s keys in front of her, and (4) taunted C.B. by saying, "Now where you gonna go bitch?" When C.B. attempted to make a call on her cellular phone, defendant returned to C.B.'s car to stop her.

During the ensuing struggle, defendant wrestled the phone from C.B. by repeatedly punching her in the face and body with such force that it dislodged C.B.'s nose and ear piercings.

With each punch, defendant yelled that C.B. "was going to have sex with him." C.B. estimated that defendant continued hitting her for at least four minutes until she relented because she was in "significant pain" and believed that she had no other choice. C.B. told defendant that she would comply with his demands provided he stopped beating her and remained calm.

After defendant told C.B. that she "better do what the fuck I say bitch," defendant gave C.B. back her keys and told her to drive to an area near the rear entrance of his apartment building. After C.B. complied, defendant again removed the car's ignition key and ordered C.B. into the backseat. C.B. begged defendant to use a condom that she had supplied, but defendant responded that he did not need a condom because he intended to sodomize her. Defendant later agreed to use a condom based on C.B.'s persistent cries that he do so. As defendant applied the condom, he told C.B. to remove her pants. C.B. told defendant that he could not have sex with her because she was menstruating but eventually complied with defendant's order (1) to remove her tampon, which she threw out the window, and (2) position herself on her hands and knees.

Although defendant then attempted to penetrate C.B.'s vagina and anus, he succeeded only in pushing his flaccid penis into C.B.'s buttocks and against the back of her thigh. He did so with such force that he caused C.B. to repeatedly hit her head against the car window. About 30 seconds later, defendant stopped and ordered C.B. to put her clothes back on. Defendant told C.B. that (1) he had never done that before; (2) he "wanted" her, but he knew C.B. was not "going to give it to [him]" so he "had to take it"; and (3) she could not tell anyone about this incident. Defendant then pulled up his trousers, threw the condom out of the car window, and ran into his apartment. C.B. then drove home and described defendant's actions to her parents.

The following day, police collected a tampon and a condom near defendant's apartment. Testing later confirmed that the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) on those items matched C.B.'s and defendant's respective DNA profiles. Three admitted photographs depicted (1) two separate bruises located on C.B.'s left cheek and under her chin; (2) three separate bruises located on C.B.'s right cheek, right ear, and forehead; and (3) a circular bruise on C.B.'s thigh. After accepting the parties' stipulation, the trial court continued the trial until the next month.

C. The Parties' Respective Arguments to the Trial Court When defendant's stipulated bench trial resumed in May 2009, the parties informed the trial court that their pending arguments did not concern the stipulated evidence previously ...


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