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People v. Gooch

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fifth District

September 3, 2014

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
KIP GOOCH, Defendant-Appellant

As Corrected September 11, 2014.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Williamson County. No. 09-CF-484. Honorable John Speroni, Judge, presiding.

SYLLABUS

The 12-year sentence imposed on defendant for the criminal sexual assault of his daughter was upheld over his contention that the sentence was excessive in view of his cooperation with the State, including his voluntary guilty plea, since his guilty plea to criminal sexual assault was in exchange for the dismissal of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, the parties agreed that the plea was an open plea and that the trial court would impose the sentence after a sentencing hearing, there was no agreement or negotiations as to his sentence, defendant was not required to withdraw his guilty plea and vacate the judgment before he could seek reconsideration of his sentence, and in view of the facts that the sentence was within the statutory limits and that defendant would have had to serve consecutive terms for the two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, if he had been convicted on those counts, the sentence was not an abuse of discretion.

For Appellant: Bryan A. Drew, Jason D. Drew, Katie M. Oehmke, Drew & Drew, P.C., Benton, IL.

For Appellee: Hon. Charles Garnati, State's Attorney, Williamson County Courthouse, Marion, IL, Patrick Delfino, Director, Stephen E. Norris, Deputy Director, Patrick D. Daly, Staff Attorney, Office of the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor, Mt. Vernon, IL.

Honorable Richard P. Goldenhersh, J. Honorable Melissa A. Chapman, J., and Honorable Judy L. Cates J., Concur. JUSTICE GOLDENHERSH delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

OPINION

GOLDENHERSH, JUSTICE.

Page 176

[¶1] Defendant, Kip D. Gooch, was charged by the circuit court with criminal sexual assault after he knowingly committed acts of sexual penetration with his daughter, a minor. Defendant's criminal sexual assaults of his daughter stretched over a period of eight years, and defendant's daughter was a minor at the time of each attack. Criminal sexual assault is a Class 1 felony that carries a sentence of 4 to 15 years' incarceration. 720 ILCS 5/12-13 (West 2010). The circuit court sentenced defendant to 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. After his sentencing, defendant filed a motion to reconsider the sentence, which the circuit court denied. Defendant filed a timely notice

[¶2] On appeal, defendant raises the issue as to whether the circuit court abused its discretion when it sentenced defendant to 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, alleging that 12 years was an excessive sentence after defendant had cooperated with law enforcement and entered a voluntary plea of guilty. The State asserts that the sentence was not an abuse of the circuit court's discretion. The State also alleges that defendant entered into a partially negotiated guilty plea rather than an open plea, and, therefore, defendant was required to file a motion to withdraw guilty plea before appealing his sentence. We affirm defendant's sentence and reject the State's position arguing a partially negotiated guilty plea.

[¶3] BACKGROUND

[¶4] On December 14, 2009, defendant was charged by information with several criminal offenses, the relevant charges here being two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child (720 ILCS 5/11-1.40 (West 2010)) and one count of criminal sexual assault (720 ILCS 5/12-13 (West 2010)). The victim was defendant's daughter, a minor who was first sexually abused by defendant at the age of five in 2001. The assaults continued over an eight-year period from 2001 to 2009. The charges alleged specific physical acts. The first count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child alleged that defendant inserted a vibrator into the victim's vagina. The second count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child alleged that defendant inserted his finger into the victim's vagina. The third count of criminal sexual assault alleged that defendant put his tongue in the victim's vagina.

[¶5] Defendant reached a plea agreement with the State in which he agreed to plead guilty to the single count of criminal sexual assault in exchange for the dismissal of the two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault. Defendant was sentenced to 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Criminal sexual assault has a range of punishment from 4 to 15 years in the Illinois Department of ...


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