Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County. No. 09-CF-3318 Honorable Allen M. Anderson, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE BIRKETT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices McLaren and Zenoff concurred in the judgment and opinion.
¶ 1 Following a bench trial, the circuit court of Kane County convicted defendant, Dexter G. Robinson, of violating section 6 of the Sex Offender Registration Act (Act) (730 ILCS 150/6 (West 2008)), holding that defendant, a sex offender, had knowingly failed to report a change in his address to the Aurora police department. Defendant appeals, contending that the State's proof was insufficient because it failed to present evidence of a specific unregistered address where defendant stayed for an aggregate period of five or more days in a calendar year. We agree and reverse.
¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND
¶ 3 On October 16, 2008, Richard Cornforth, who registers sex offenders for the Aurora police department, met with defendant and completed a registration form with him. Defendant gave an address on Crestwood Drive in Aurora. The reverse side of the form listed the requirements of registration, including a requirement that defendant report a change of address within three days. Defendant wrote his initials next to each of these requirements. Subsequently, in 2009, defendant did not report a change of address or register a new address.
¶ 4 On October 16, 2009, Aurora police officer Laura Kolanowski completed a sex offender registration form with defendant, who again provided his address on Crestwood Drive, Aurora. Defendant then read and initialed each line of the form that listed his rights and responsibilities.
¶ 5 On November 22, 2009, Aurora police officer Maxwell Worchester went to the Crestwood Drive address and attempted to verify the information defendant provided on the October 16, 2009, form. Officer Worchester spoke with defendant's grandfather, Tommy Lee Rush, the owner of the house. Rush provided a written report stating that defendant had not lived with him since August 2009 and was working near Davenport, Iowa, at a telemarketing firm. Officer Worchester did not speak with anyone else at the house or call either contact number listed on the form.
¶ 6 At trial, Rush testified that police officers came to his house in 2009 looking for defendant, but he could not remember the date. In November 2009, defendant lived at the house "off and on" and his absences could be longer than a week but shorter than a month. Rush did not know where defendant was during these absences, but he knew that defendant stayed with Rush's son sometimes and possibly had a job in the Davenport area. During this time, defendant kept his belongings at Rush's house, and Rush did not recall telling police on November 22, 2009, that defendant did not have any belongings at his house. Rush admitted that he gets "mixed up" and could not remember the November 22 meeting with the police.
¶ 7 Aurora police officer Laurie Pekich testified that at approximately 11:25 a.m., on November 22, 2009, she received a call while she was working at the front desk of the police station. The caller identified himself as defendant, and he said that he had been advised that police were looking for him at his home. He told her that he sometimes left the area for two or three days and was on his way back to Illinois.
¶ 8 Brandi O'Banner, defendant's sister, testified that she lived at the Crestwood Drive address with her family, including defendant. They all lived there on November 22, 2009, and defendant came home every night and kept his clothes and toiletries there. Her grandfather slept in the back of the house and was often asleep before defendant came home. Defendant would spend a day or two, once or twice a month, at his girlfriend's house, but was never gone as long as a week.
¶ 9 The trial court determined that Rush was credible and found defendant guilty. The trial court stated that it had no reasonable doubt that defendant was away from his home for an aggregate period of five or more days during a calendar year. Defendant timely appeals.
¶ 10 II. ANALYSIS
¶ 11 On appeal, defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to sustain a conviction under section 6 of the Act and, more specifically, that the State failed to prove the existence of a specific address that defendant was required to register. When a defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence in a criminal case, it is not the function of a reviewing court to retry the defendant. Peoplev. Collins, 106 Ill.2d 237, 261 (1985). Rather, the proper standard of review is "whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt." (Emphasis in original.) Id. (quoting Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 (1979)). When reviewing the evidence, the reviewing court will not substitute its judgment for that of the trier of fact on issues concerning the weight of the evidence or the credibility of the witnesses. People v. Phelps, 211 Ill.2d 1, 7 (2004). Where the evidence is so unsatisfactory as to ...