Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fourth Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 09 CR 13229
Honorable Kenneth J. Wadas, Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE McBRIDE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Howse and Burke concurred in the judgment
1 Defendant, Barron Lewis, was found guilty of aggravated
criminal sexual assault in 2010, and sentenced to 15 years
imprisonment. In this appeal, defendant challenges the
summary dismissal of his petition for relief under the
Post-Conviction Hearing Act (Act) (725 ILCS 5/122-1 et
seq. (West 2014)). Defendant maintains that he presented
an arguable claim of ineffective assistance of counsel based
on counsel's failure to investigate his negative
chlamydia test results, and to present that evidence to the
trial court in support of his contention that the
victim's positive chlamydia test results should have been
2 The record shows that prior to trial, the trial court heard
the State's motion in limine regarding various
matters. Among other things, the State requested that the
defendant be barred from introducing evidence that the
victim, C.H., had tested positive for chlamydia. The trial
court initially indicated that it would grant the State's
motion, because the test result "ha[d] no
relevance" and because it was "the same as trying
to bring in predisposition - sexual predisposition *** which
we know the law absolutely blocks[.]" Defense counsel,
however, asked to be heard on that issue. Counsel
acknowledged the "rape shield law" issue, but
contended that the victim's test results should be
admitted. Counsel stated that "if she had chlamydia and
the Defendant had sex with her as she is saying, unprotected
sex, the fact that the Defendant never had chlamydia, never
got chlamydia, and has been in jail and was tested for it
even on his entry into the jail is all *** direct medical
evidence that - that they did not have sexual
intercourse." Counsel further argued that "the
simple fact that she had a highly communicable disease which
was not transferred to the Defendant is medically speaking
some evidence indicating that sex between the two did not
happen. So this takes it out of the rape shield example and
puts it into the elemental right of the Defendant to present
a defense on one of the critical issues in the case which is
whether or not there was sex between these parties."
3 The State responded that the evidence "goes to the
victim's past sexual history which is specifically
prohibited in rape shield, " and the court ruled,
"Evidence of chlamydia is not going in or reference,
rape shield law."
4 The remaining trial proceedings were summarized by a
different panel of this court as part of defendant's
direct appeal, which we will quote at length due to the
nature of defendant's claims.
testified that on July 5, 2009, she and fellow college
student, Amanda Richardson, had recently moved into an
apartment building at 833 West Buena Street in Chicago. C.H.
had returned to the building after work at approximately 5:30
p.m. C.H. sat on a bench in the patio area outside the
building finishing a telephone call, when she was approached
by Lewis. Lewis offered C.H. a drink, which she accepted and
thanked him for.
stated that after she finished her telephone call, she again
thanked Lewis, who was listening to music on his boombox and
smoking a cigar. Lewis invited her to sit with him and the
two had a conversation. He spoke about his family and
children, and his jazz club; she spoke about school, work,
and her boyfriend. Lewis told her he lived two floors
directly above her in the building.
began to grow dark, C.H. decided to return to her apartment.
Lewis stated he was also going inside to get batteries for
his boombox. The two made small talk in the elevator. C.H.
testified that she was surprised when Lewis exited the
elevator with her on the 12th floor. According to C.H., Lewis
explained that he was interested in whether their apartments
shared the same layout.
gave Lewis a brief tour of her apartment. Lewis asked whether
she had any batteries, then went into her kitchen and poured
them each shots of tequila. C.H. testified that she took a
sip of the tequila, but poured the rest out because she did
not want to get drunk. According to C.H., she had consumed
only a glass of sangria and a sip of tequila that evening.
C.H. testified that Lewis then went into her living room and
sat down on a futon. C.H. sat down on a futon across from
him. Lewis got up, grabbed C.H.'s arm, and told her to
sit next to him. Lewis also told C.H. she had a beautiful
body. C.H. stated that she had been having a good time, but
began to feel awkward and that Lewis, whom she had thought
was funny, began to seem 'creepy.'
tried to get up from the futon, but Lewis pulled her back
down next to him. Lewis again said that C.H. had a beautiful
body, adding that she needed to show it off more. Lewis had
C.H. stand up and then he removed her sweatshirt, under which
she wore a t-shirt and scarf. After C.H. sat down again,
Lewis tried to get her to kiss him and feel his penis and
groin. C.H. repeatedly told Lewis that she had a boyfriend
and that this situation was 'not okay.' Lewis told
her that no one would love her the way he would. C.H. stated
that Lewis continued to kiss her and tried to grab her hands.
C.H. clenched her fists and pushed him away.
to C.H., Lewis became aggravated and went back downstairs to
the patio area to finish smoking his cigar. C.H. testified
that she followed Lewis out to the patio, explaining that she
thought she could get him to remain there or return to his
apartment. C.H. stood behind Lewis as he smoked and conversed
with other neighbors.
then told C.H. he needed to return to her apartment to
retrieve his boombox. The two went back to her unit. C.H.
stated that she thought Lewis would leave quickly, but he
returned to the futon and again tried to kiss her and to have
her feel his groin. According to C.H., Lewis was 'all
testified that she was crying and telling Lewis 'no.'
Lewis forcibly removed C.H.'s sweatshirt. At some point
while the two struggled, they knocked sangria onto the floor.
C.H. tried to clean up the spill as a distraction, but Lewis
carried her to her bedroom.
also testified that she was crying and yelling for him to
stop, but Lewis forced her to remove all of her clothes. C.H.
further testified that Lewis removed his clothes and tried to
put his penis in her mouth, but she kept her mouth shut and
turned her head away. According to C.H., Lewis struck her
face, on her left cheek under her eye, and grabbed at her
breasts, scratching her.
was then on her stomach and Lewis climbed on top of her.
Lewis tried to insert his penis into C.H.'s anus, but he
could not do so because C.H. was kicking. Lewis inserted his
finger into C.H.'s vagina and he inserted his penis
inside of her vagina. C.H. testified that she continued to
tell Lewis to stop, but Lewis told her, 'I am going to
show you what really fucking is about.' While Lewis was
on top of her, he occasionally pulled on her scarf, choking
her. C.H. did not know whether Lewis ejaculated, but he
eventually got off of her and seemed to fall asleep.
stated that she quickly dressed and then began hitting Lewis
with her fists, demanding that he leave. C.H. testified that
she knew that Amanda would be home soon and feared what Lewis
might do to her. According to C.H., Lewis awakened and
dressed in the living room.
heard Amanda fumbling with the door locks, although C .H.
stated she had locked neither the door lock nor the deadbolt.
Once Amanda entered the apartment, C.H. started to cry and
told her they needed to leave. Amanda went into the bathroom
to remove her contacts. C.H. stated that when Amanda emerged
from the bathroom, Lewis was sitting on the futon, finishing
dressing. C.H. testified that she repeated that they needed
to leave and yelled at Lewis to leave.
three left the apartment. Lewis got on the elevator with C.H.
and Amanda. Lewis introduced himself to Amanda and shook her
hand. According to C.H., Lewis told Amanda he had been trying
to keep C.H. happy all night and that she needed to stop
crying. When the elevator reached the first floor, C.H. ran
from the building. Amanda caught up to C.H., who had fallen
at the end of the block. C.H. would not let Amanda touch her.
C.H. telephoned her mother, but was crying and screaming, so
Amanda took the telephone. Amanda then telephoned the police,
who arrived as C.H. and Amanda returned to their building.
testified that after she spoke to the police officers, she
was transported to Thorek Hospital, where a sexual assault
kit was assembled. C.H. told the doctor that Lewis inserted
his finger into her vagina. She also told the doctor she did
not know whether Lewis had worn a condom. C.H. then went to
the police station, where she identified Lewis in a lineup.
At trial, C.H. identified a photograph of herself in which
there is a visible bruise under her left eye, which she
stated Lewis caused.
addition, C.H. testified that she sent a series of text
messages to Amanda, her boyfriend Tony, and her friend Lamar,
throughout the evening, until Lewis took the telephone from
her and threw it across the room. C.H. identified enlarged
photocopies of text messages sent between 5:40 p.m. and 10:40
p.m. on July 5, 2009. The text messages sent to Amanda,
admitted into evidence as People's group exhibit No. 2,
included the following ***:
'(5:40 p.m.) When r u coming home?
(5:41 p.m.) Omg something hilarious is happening! [C.H.
Testified that "OMG" is short for "oh, my
(time not displayed) I cam home and was sittin on a bench and
a guy walks over and hands me a sangria. Then give me a huge
cigar. We r just sittin drinkin and smokin. I think hes gay.
(6:56 p.m.) Omg this guy is hilarious. Hes giving e advice on
(6:58 p.m.) Omg I hope eh wot. Im kinda drunk. Come ...