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People v. Hall

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

September 14, 2017

CHARLES J. HALL, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 14th Judicial Circuit, Rock Island County, Illinois, Circuit No. 06-CF-886 Honorable Frank R. Fuhr, Judge, Presiding.

          JUSTICE O'BRIEN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Carter and Schmidt concurred in the judgment and opinion.


          O'BRIEN, JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 Defendant, Charles J. Hall, appeals the order of the circuit court of Rock Island County denying his petition for discharge or conditional release upon finding that defendant was still a sexually dangerous person. We affirm.

         ¶ 2 FACTS

         ¶ 3 Defendant was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse (720 ILCS 5/12-16(c)(1)(i) (West 2004)) in that defendant fondled the genitals of B.P. B.P. was 10 years old at the time of the offense, and defendant was 19 years old.

         ¶ 4 On October 11, 2006, the State filed a petition to proceed under the Sexually Dangerous Persons Act (Act) (725 ILCS 205/0.01 et seq. (West 2006)). The petition alleged that defendant admitted to fondling the genitals of the victim in the instant case. The petition also alleged that defendant committed several prior offenses. Defendant admitted the allegations in the petition. Two psychiatrists evaluated defendant and opined that he was sexually dangerous. Defendant stipulated to the contents of the psychiatric evaluations. On November 17, 2006, the court ordered that defendant be committed to the Department of Corrections (DOC) for treatment pursuant to the Act.

         ¶ 5 On December 3, 2013, defendant filed a pro se application for release or conditional discharge. The court appointed counsel, and defendant filed a petition for discharge or conditional release through counsel.

         ¶ 6 A hearing was held on defendant's petition. The State called Dr. Kristopher Clounch, a clinical psychologist, as its only witness. Clounch testified that he performed a psychological evaluation of defendant. In preparing his evaluation, Clounch reviewed defendant's past evaluations, police reports, and current treatment records. Clounch also communicated with defendant's treatment therapist and interviewed defendant. A written report of Clounch's evaluation of defendant-which was prepared approximately 13 months before the hearing-was admitted into evidence.

         ¶ 7 Clounch testified that some of the things defendant told him during the interview were significantly different than what defendant said in prior reports. Defendant denied some of the information he provided in the past concerning his prior sex offenses and deviant sexual interests. Specifically, defendant denied having sexual fantasies about children, having violent sexual fantasies, and committing the offense he was charged with in the instant case.

         ¶ 8 Clounch stated that defendant was adjudicated a juvenile delinquent in 2001 for committing the offense of criminal sexual abuse. Defendant was 15 years old, and his victim was a 12-year-old girl. The girl reported that defendant kissed her and said he wanted to have sex with her. She refused. Defendant then removed his penis from his pants. Defendant removed the girl's pants and fondled her vagina and breasts. Defendant then forced the girl to "masturbate his penis." Defendant admitted to Clounch that he penetrated the girl's vagina with his finger.

         ¶ 9 While defendant was on probation for the offense of criminal sexual abuse, he committed

the offense of residential burglary. Specifically, defendant stole a camcorder from a residence and recorded a video of himself masturbating.

         ¶ 10 In July 2005, defendant's parole officer conducted a home visit and discovered pornographic materials in defendant's possession, including a pregnancy magazine that had photographs of nude babies. Defendant admitted to his parole officer that he masturbated while looking at photographs of the children.

         ¶ 11 On October 31, 2005, defendant was arrested for violating his parole when he attempted to leave his home in a Halloween costume with a bag of candy. Defendant told officers that he planned to hand out candy to children, snatch a child, and force the child to perform oral sex on him. On December 5, 2005, defendant was arrested for aggravated cruelty to animals and sexual contact with an animal. Court records indicated that defendant had killed the family cat and masturbated on the cat's dead body.[1]

         ¶ 12 In the instant case, defendant was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse for having sexual contact with 10-year-old B.P. Defendant's parole officer observed two male children going to the door of defendant's residence. The officer spoke with the children, who said they were there to play with defendant. The officer learned that defendant had wrestled with B.P. B.P. told the police that nothing happened during the wrestling that he recognized as sexual. However, defendant admitted that he rubbed his elbow against B.P.'s penis and became sexually aroused. Defendant also told the officers that he believed he was sexually dangerous and if he was released without treatment he would likely beat or kill a child for sexual pleasure.

         ¶ 13 Clounch stated that between 2006 and 2007, defendant incurred 16 institutional rule violations for breaking prison rules that all inmates are required to follow. These violations included failure to report, unauthorized movement, violation of rules, and contraband. Defendant incurred a violation for giving false information to an employee when he told a prison employee that he performed oral sex on his cellmate. He later admitted that he lied so that he would get another cellmate. Defendant also incurred two violations for sexual misconduct. On one occasion in April 2007, defendant exposed himself to another inmate. On another occasion in November 2007, defendant performed oral sex on another inmate.

         ¶ 14 Defendant also incurred 80 "tickets" for violation of the rules for the sexually dangerous persons program. Many of defendant's tickets were for missing group therapy, arriving late to group therapy, leaving group therapy early, or missing other treatment activities.[2] Defendant had been placed on probation on 12 occasions and suspended from treatment on 15 occasions. Since Clounch prepared his written evaluation, defendant incurred 18 more tickets, was placed on probation six times, and was suspended from treatment one time.

         ¶ 15 Defendant was required to attend group therapy once a week for an hour and a half. Defendant was in phase one of the treatment program. At the time of Clounch's written evaluation, treatment staff had rated defendant as "unsatisfactory" in all 23 areas on his semiannual program evaluation. On defendant's most recent semiannual evaluation, treatment staff rated defendant as "some need for improvement" in the areas of offense disclosure and accepting responsibility. ...

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