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People v. Grant

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fifth District

March 18, 2015

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Petitioner-Appellee,
v.
JAMES E. GRANT, Respondent-Appellant

Page 1067

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Johnson County. No. 99-CF-106. Honorable James R. Williamson, Judge, presiding.

For Appellant: Cord Z. Wittig, Kruger, Henry & Hunter, Metropolis, IL.

For Appellee: Tambra K. Cain, Johnson County State's Attorney, Johnson County Courthouse, Vienna, IL; Patrick Delfino, Director, David J. Robinson, Deputy Director, Perry Miller, Staff Attorney, State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor, Springfield, IL.

JUSTICE CHAPMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Cates and Justice Welch concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

CHAPMAN, JUSTICE.

Page 1068

[¶1] The respondent, James E. Grant, was committed under the Sexually Dangerous Persons Act (Act) (725 ILCS 205/0.01 et seq. (West 2012)). Subsequently, he filed an application for discharge or conditional release. An evaluation of the respondent was prepared and filed with the court. A team of evaluators found tat the respondent was not a sexually dangerous person and recommended conditional release. The State filed a motion to appoint an independent psychiatrist to examine the respondent. The court granted the State's motion over the respondent's objection and denied the respondent's request to appoint his own independent psychiatrist. A jury found that the respondent remained subject to commitment as a sexually dangerous person. The respondent appeals, arguing that the court erred and violated his constitutional rights by appointing an expert for the State and denying his request for his own expert. We reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this decision.

[¶2] In 1999, the respondent was charged with attempted aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated battery, and home invasion. These charges stemmed from an attempted sexual assault of an adult neighbor. He was also charged with residential burglary in three unrelated cases, each of which involved the theft of women's underwear. He was initially found unfit to stand trial. Subsequently, he was found fit to stand trial. However, the State opted to file a petition for commitment under the Act in lieu of prosecution on one of the residential burglary charges. In April 2002, the respondent was declared a sexually dangerous person and committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections (DOC).

[¶3] The respondent filed recovery applications alleging that he was no longer sexually dangerous in 2005 and 2010. Those applications were denied. On July 12, 2012, the respondent filed a third application alleging that he was no longer sexually dangerous and requesting that he be discharged or conditionally released. Along with his application, he filed a motion for the appointment of an independent psychiatrist, which the court denied.

Page 1069

[¶4] On November 26, 2012, the DOC filed with the court a sociopsychiatric report prepared by an evaluation team consisting of a licensed clinical social worker, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist. The report discussed the respondent's history prior to his commitment in 2002. The evaluators noted that he had no sex offense convictions prior to the 1999 charges that led to his commitment; however, the respondent was the subject of an indicated report with the Department of Children and Family Services in 1990. That report indicated that he had sexually abused his three-year-old stepdaughter. In addition, the evaluators noted that the respondent was diagnosed with pedophilia in 1992.

[¶5] The report then discussed the respondent's progress through treatment programs. The evaluators noted that he had made very little progress. They also stated that the respondent had poor insight into his mental illnesses and continued to deny or downplay his actions. They noted that the respondent suffered from developmental disabilities and a speech impediment as well as depression. They diagnosed the respondent as suffering from fetishism, mild mental retardation, and a personality disorder, not otherwise specified, with narcissistic and paranoid traits. They concluded, however, that the respondent posed a low risk of reoffending for two reasons. First, they found that he did not suffer from a mental disorder that would predispose him toward sexual violence. In addition, his score on the Static 99R test indicated a low risk for recidivism. The evaluation team recommended that the respondent be conditionally released.

[¶6] The State filed a motion for the appointment of an independent psychiatrist. In this motion, the State alleged that it objected to portions of the evaluators' report and that it wanted the court to appoint Dr. Angeline Stanislaus. The respondent filed an objection to the State's motion, arguing that the State was not entitled to the appointment of an independent evaluator unless it could demonstrate bias on the part of the evaluators who prepared the report. Additionally, the ...


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