from Circuit Court of Adams County No. 08CF623 Honorable
William O. Mays, Judge Presiding.
STEIGMANN JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Turner and Justice Appleton
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 In May 2009, defendant, Geoffrey C. Dalton, pleaded guilty
to criminal sexual assault (720 ILCS 5/12-13(a)(4) (West
2006)). The trial court sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
2 In June 2010, defendant filed a petition for postconviction
relief pursuant to the Post-Conviction Hearing Act (Act) (725
ILCS 5/122-1(f) (West 2010)), alleging that he was subject to
an indeterminate term of Mandatory Supervised Release (MSR),
which he argued was different from the term of MSR contained
in his plea agreement. The trial court appointed counsel for
defendant and ultimately dismissed defendant's amended
postconviction petition. This court affirmed that decision on
appeal. People v. Dalton, No. 4-10-1033 (May 7,
2012) (unpublished summary order under Supreme Court Rule
3 In October 2014, defendant filed a motion for leave to file
a successive postconviction petition, arguing that
postconviction counsel had failed to comply with Illinois
Supreme Court Rule 651(c) (eff. Dec. 1, 1984). The trial
court denied the motion.
4 Defendant appeals, arguing that the trial court erred by
denying his motion for leave to file a successive
postconviction petition. We disagree and affirm.
5 I. BACKGROUND
6 A. The Charges and Guilty Plea
7 In February 2009, the State charged defendant-a high school
teacher-with four counts of criminal sexual assault (720 ILCS
5/12-13(a)(4) (West 2006)) and four counts of aggravated
criminal sexual abuse (720 ILCS 5/12-16(d) (West 2006)),
alleging that on four separate occasions, he had sexual
intercourse with a student under the age of 18.
8 At a May 2009 hearing, defendant pleaded guilty to one
count of criminal sexual assault. As part of the plea
agreement, the parties agreed that the maximum sentence
defendant could receive would be 10 years in prison. The
following exchange then occurred between the trial court and
"[THE STATE]: The defendant, of course, would be subject
to mandatory supervised release, I believe, of three years
and would have to register, of course, as a sex offender for
the rest of his life.
[THE COURT]: I have got a Class 1 as being two years, unless
[THE STATE]: I may be wrong on that, judge. I just assumed.
My recollection was that X's and 1's are three, but I
stand corrected. That's the ...