from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will
County, Illinois. Appeal No. 3-16-0599 Circuit No. 15-CF-2656
Honorable Sarah Jones, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE SCHMIDT delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Carter and Justice McDade
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 Defendant, Matthew Haberkorn, appeals from his conviction
and sentence for unlawful presence at a facility providing
services exclusively directed toward children by a child sex
offender (720 ILCS 5/11-9.3(c) (West 2014)). Specifically, he
argues that (1) the State's evidence failed to prove him
guilty and (2) the trial court erred in denying his posttrial
motion based on a defective indictment. We reverse.
3 In July 2008, defendant, then a 17-year-old high school
student, pled guilty to criminal sexual abuse, a Class A
misdemeanor, after he and his 15-year-old high school
girlfriend had sex (720 ILCS 5/12-15(c) (West 2006)). As a
result of that conviction, defendant is required to register
as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act
(SORA) (730 ILCS 150/3 (West 2014)).
4 Eight years later, defendant accompanied his cousin and her
three children onto a bus chartered by Easter Seals. A parent
on the bus recognized defendant as a sex offender.
Immediately thereafter, an Easter Seals employee asked
defendant to exit the bus, which he did without incident.
5 In January 2016, the Will County State's Attorney
charged defendant by criminal indictment with unlawful
presence at a facility providing services exclusively
directed toward children (720 ILCS 5/11-9.3(c) (West 2014)).
Specifically, the indictment alleged that on or about
November 4, 2015, "defendant, a child sex offender, was
knowingly present on a school bus chartered by a facility
providing programs or services exclusively directed toward
persons under the age of 18, namely Easter Seals, while
children were present on said school bus."
6 Defendant's bench trial commenced in July 2016. At
trial, the parties stipulated to a number of facts, including
that (1) defendant was a registered sex offender having been
convicted of criminal sexual abuse, a Class A misdemeanor, in
2008; (2) on November 4, 2015, Easter Seals chartered a bus
as part of its Jump Start program to take a group of parents
and children on a field trip to the Ball Factory in
Naperville; (3) approximately 20 children and their 20
parents as well as parent educators for the program were on
the bus; (4) defendant was on the bus with his cousin, who
was enrolled in the program, and her three children; (5) the
bus picked up defendant at Walmart in Joliet; (6) a parent on
the bus recognized defendant as being a sex offender and
notified one of the parent educators; and (7) Easter
Seals' personnel asked defendant to exit the bus, which
he did without incident.
7 I. The State's Evidence
8 Dana Christian, a parent educator with Easter Seals for
4½ years, testified for the State as follows. Easter
Seals is a national organization that "provide[s]
different services for people with disabilities." It
offers services for adults, including an adult day services
program, a residential home for adults with disabilities, and
support groups for parents that have autistic children.
9 Easter Seals' Jump Start program is a parent-enrichment
program that focuses on "helping parents be better
parents." It "provide[s] parental support to
families that *** have children up to the age of three or
[are] pregnant." The goals of the program include
strengthening parent/child relationships, reinforcing
parenting skills, and teaching parents how to manage the
stress of parenting. The program also works with parents
suspected of child abuse and parents involved with the
correctional system. The program offers no classes for
children and is not a school.
10 On November 4, 2015, Easter Seals chartered two buses for
a field trip to the Ball Factory in Naperville as part of its
Jump Start program. The event was "for the families and
the children." The buses picked up families in the
Walmart parking lot in Joliet. Shortly after the passengers
boarded, one of the parents informed Christian that a sex
offender, whom she identified as defendant, was on the bus.
Defendant exited the bus upon being asked to do so.
11 On cross-examination, the following colloquy occurred:
"Q. Would you agree with me that Jump Start is a parent
Q. And the focus of Jump Start is the parents, correct?
A. Is the family.
Q. Is the family, and helping parents be better parents?
* * *
Q. So by helping the family-by helping the children, you try
to help the parents, and the title, parent educator, captures
the essence of the program, correct?
Q. And the goal of the program is to strengthen parent/child
Q. Reinforce parenting skills, correct?
Q. And one of the things that the program teaches is how to
help parents manage with stress-manage the stress of
* * *
Q. And another aspect of the program are what is known as
group-parent meetings, correct?
Q. And those programs are for parents, that's where the
parents meet, right?
* * *
* * *
Q. [In addition to group-parent meetings], there are field
trips that foster good will, correct?
Q. And the visit to the Ball Factory is what you described as
a field trip that fosters good will?
* * *
Q. And just so we are real clear, one does not have to be
under the age of 18 to participate in a Jump ...