Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, First Division
May 8, 2017
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 09-CR-4187;
the Hon. Timothy Joseph Joyce, Judge, presiding.
Campanelli, Public Defender, of Chicago (Ingrid A. Gill, of
counsel), for appellant. Appeal
Kimberly M. Foxx, State's Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J.
Spellberg and Mary L. Boland, Assistant State's
Attorneys, of counsel), for the People.
JUSTICE MIKVA delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Connors and Justice Simon
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 Corbitt White was found to be a sexually dangerous person
and, pursuant to the Sexually Dangerous Persons Act (SDPA)
(725 ILCS 205/1.01 et seq. (West 2010)), was
committed to the custody of the Illinois Department of
Corrections until a court finds him no longer dangerous. On
appeal, Mr. White argues that his rights to due process, to
confrontation, and against self-incrimination under the
United States and Illinois Constitutions were violated
because he was required by court order to participate in the
mental health evaluations required by the SDPA, based on a
petition that did not meet the requirements of the SDPA and
before the State had elected to proceed solely under the
SDPA. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of
the circuit court.
3 On March 6, 2009, Mr. White was charged by indictment with
five counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, six counts
of aggravated kidnapping, one count of criminal sexual
assault, and two counts of kidnapping. According to the
criminal complaint, on August 22, 2006, Mr. White threatened
the victim with a knife and forced her into his vehicle,
where he bound her hands behind her back and forcefully
placed his penis into her vagina.
4 Following the indictments, the parties began the pretrial
discovery process. On June 19, 2009, the State filed a motion
to introduce other-crimes evidence in Mr. White's
criminal case to show his propensity to commit sex offenses
(see 725 ILCS 5/115-7.3 (West 2008)), including Mr.
White's 1988 convictions for aggravated criminal sexual
assault, home invasion, and armed robbery, for which he was
sentenced to 30 years' incarceration and released on
parole in 2004.
5 On February 26, 2010, the State filed a document titled
"Petition to Evaluate Defendant as a Sexually Dangerous
Person." The petition stated that it was filed pursuant
to the SDPA. The petition included detailed summaries of the
allegations against Mr. White in the underlying criminal
case, as well as the crimes for which Mr. White was convicted
in 1988. The prayer for relief asked the circuit court to
enter an order appointing two qualified psychiatrists to
examine Mr. White to ascertain whether he was a sexually
dangerous person and then file their results in writing with
6 Mr. White moved to dismiss the State's February 2010
petition on the basis that it contained insufficient facts to
support the State's assertion that he was a sexually
dangerous person as defined by the SDPA. During the hearing
on Mr. White's motion to dismiss the petition, defense
counsel argued that the State was putting the "cart
before the horse" and had filed the petition without
showing "any type of good faith basis to believe Mr.
White suffer[ed] from any mental disorders." The
assistant State's Attorney's response was that the
February 2010 petition was merely a request, as the
"preliminary first step" to have Mr. White
evaluated by two psychiatrists, and that the State was
"not filing a petition to have him declared a sexually
dangerous person" at that time. The assistant
State's Attorney explained that, if the psychiatrists did
not come to the conclusion that Mr. White was a sexually
dangerous person, the State would not request a hearing under
the SDPA and would instead pursue the underlying criminal
charges. The assistant State's Attorney also stated that,
if the psychiatric evaluations indicated that Mr. White did
qualify as a sexually dangerous person under the SDPA, then
the State would file a subsequent petition to request a
hearing to have him declared sexually dangerous. Responding
to the State's declared intentions, defense counsel
insisted that the State was required to file a petition that
complied with the requirements set forth in the SDPA before
Mr. White could be ordered to be examined by a psychiatrist.
7 The circuit court denied Mr. White's motion to dismiss
and ordered Mr. White to be evaluated as a sexually dangerous
person by two qualified psychiatrists. In its ruling, the
court stated that "the statute *** requires the State to
file [a] petition in writing setting forth facts tending to
show that the person named is a sexually dangerous person as
defined in the statute" and found that "the
petition [the State] filed meets that burden."
8 Following the court's ruling, defense counsel expressed
concern that statements made by Mr. White during those
evaluations could be used against him substantively or for
impeachment purposes in the underlying criminal case, such
that forcing Mr. White to undergo the evaluations would
violate his rights under the fifth and sixth amendments. The
court responded that "the State would be precluded from
using those statements in any proceeding other than on a
petition to have the defendant found a sexually dangerous
9 Mr. White filed a motion to reconsider the circuit
court's ruling. As part of that motion, Mr. White argued
that forcing him to discuss the underlying criminal case with
the evaluators would "give[ ] the State a preview of
[his] defenses at trial" and his right to a fair trial
"should not be impinged upon absent a showing that [he]
suffer[ed] from a mental disorder." The court denied Mr.
White's motion to reconsider on May 26, 2010, reaffirming
its finding that "the State has set forth sufficient
facts in the petition to warrant the evaluation."
10 Also on May 26, 2010, Dr. Peter Lourgos, assistant
director of the forensic clinical services institute of the
circuit court of Cook County, filed a letter informing the
circuit court that Mr. White had been
"uncooperative" and refused to participate in the
first evaluation, thereby preventing the doctor from
rendering an opinion. The court entered an order instructing
Mr. White to cooperate with the evaluation.
11 At the May 26, 2010, hearing on Mr. White's motion to
reconsider, after the circuit court had denied Mr.
White's motion, the assistant State's Attorney
"Judge, just to expedite matters, since we are going to
need two psychiatrists to evaluate him, perhaps give it a
mid-July date. Should the psychiatric institute come back
with a report indicating that he doesn't fit the
definition of mental disorder, the State has also filed a
motion for proof of other crimes. We filed that some time
ago. I am not sure if Counsel has responded to that. Perhaps
get a response and maybe have Your Honor make a decision with
respect to that so we can set this down for trial, whether or
not we are proceeding as a sexually dangerous person or
whether or not we can just actually try to criminally
charge." The court did not rule on or order Mr.
White's counsel to respond to the State's motion
"for proof of other crimes" but simply directed the
parties to return to court in June because the psychiatric
reports regarding Mr. White would soon be filed.
12 On August 24, 2010, Dr. Lourgos filed a letter in which he
stated that he examined Mr. White on June 18, 2010, and that
"Based on the above examination and review of the
available records, it is my opinion within a reasonable
degree of medical and psychiatric certainty that Corbitt
White suffers from a mental disorder, specifically, sexual
sadism, which has existed for a period not less than one year
and is coupled with criminal propensities to the commission
of sex offenses. Hence, it is my opinion within a reasonable
degree of medical and psychiatric certainty that Corbitt
White meets the statutory criteria for a sexually dangerous
person." (Emphasis omitted.)
13 The second evaluator, Dr. Monica Argumedo, another
psychiatrist with the forensic clinical services institute,
also filed a letter on August 24, 2010, in which she stated
that she examined Mr. White on July 27, 2010. Dr.
Argumedo's conclusions paralleled those of Dr. Lourgos:
she found that Mr. White "manifest[ed] a mental
disorder, mainly Sexual Sadism, " that the condition had
existed for a period of not less than one year, that the
condition was coupled with a criminal propensity to the
commission of sex offenses, and that, therefore, Mr. White
met the statutory criteria for a sexually dangerous person.
14 On September 10, 2010, the circuit court ordered the
forensic clinical services institute to tender to both
parties "any and all notes, summaries,
memoranda, and conclusions created in conjunction with the
evaluation of Corbitt White as a sexually dangerous
person." (Emphases in original.)
15 On September 28, 2010, the State filed a document titled
"Petition to Declare Defendant a Sexually Dangerous
Person." In this document, the State alleged that Mr.
White met the statutory criteria for a sexually dangerous
person and asserted that this conclusion was supported by the
opinions of the two psychiatrists as described in their
letters filed with the circuit court. This September 2010
petition alleged that "[f]or a period of not less than
one year prior to the filing of this petition, defendant has
had a 'mental disorder, ' as used in the SDPA"
and also that there was "a substantial probability that
[Mr. White] will engage in the commission of sexual assaults
in the future if not confined." The relief requested in
this petition was for the court to declare Mr. White a
sexually dangerous person and appoint the Director of
Corrections as his guardian.
16 Mr. White voluntarily waived his right to a jury trial,
and his commitment hearing began on December 18, 2012. The
State's case consisted of testimony from Dr. Lourgos and
Dr. Argumedo, who each testified at length about their
evaluations of Mr. White, reaffirming their opinions that Mr.
White met the statutory definition of a sexually dangerous
person. Each witness was cross-examined by defense counsel.
The State also introduced certified copies of Mr. White's
1988 convictions for aggravated criminal sexual assault, home
invasion, and armed robbery, as well as copies of several
other convictions for crimes Mr. White committed in the
1980s. Mr. White elected not to call any witnesses and chose
not to testify on his own behalf.
17 On January 9, 2013, the circuit court found that the State
had proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. White suffered
from two mental disorders, sexual sadism and antisocial
personality disorder; that these mental disorders had existed
for a period of not less than one year prior to the filing of
the petition; that they revealed criminal propensities toward
commission of sex offenses, acts of sexual assault, or acts
of sexual molestation of children; and that, as a result, it
was substantially probable that Mr. White, if ...