Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 09 CR 1455 The
Honorable Ellen Mandeltort, Judge Presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE NEVILLE delivered the judgment of the
court, with opinion. Justices Pierce and Griffin concurred in
the judgment and opinion.
NEVILLE PRESIDING JUSTICE
1 A jury found Ronald Patterson guilty of aggravated criminal
sexual assault, an offense committed when he was 15 years
old. The trial court sentenced Ronald, under statutes for the
sentencing of adult offenders, to 36 years in prison. Our
supreme court has affirmed the conviction and remanded the
case to this court for consideration of sentencing issues. We
hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when
it sentenced Ronald, a 15-year-old bipolar child, to 36 years
in prison, a sentence near the middle of the statutory range,
for aggravated criminal sexual assault.
3 In 2008, E.C. worked for Streamwood Behavioral Health
Systems (SBHS). On December 14, 2008, after 5 p.m., E.C.
drove an SBHS van to Hinsdale to pick up Ronald at the end of
Ronald's visit with his family. E.C. and Ronald returned
to the SBHS facility, where Ronald lived, around 6:30 p.m.
Once Ronald returned to his living unit, with the doors
locked, E.C. told a coworker that Ronald had raped her. E.C.
and her coworker called police, who came to SBHS and talked
to E.C. An ambulance took E.C. to a hospital where a doctor
examined her and photographed her bruises and some areas of
4 Police arrested Ronald at the SBHS facility that evening. A
grand jury charged Ronald with three counts of aggravated
criminal sexual assault. The Juvenile Court Act of 1987
required the transfer of the case to criminal court for the
trial of Ronald as an adult. 705 ILCS 405/5-130(1) (West
5 At trial, E.C. testified that while she was driving Ronald
from Hinsdale to the SBHS facility, he grabbed her arm and
told her to exit from the highway. Because he weighed much
more than twice E.C.'s weight, E.C. decided to take the
exit. Ronald directed E.C. to a parking lot near some empty
buildings. She opened the van's door and tried to run,
but Ronald grabbed her coat. Ronald pushed E.C. against the
van's side door, pinning her against the van.
6 E.C. testified that Ronald slid the door open and pushed
E.C. into the van. When she tried to scramble to the door on
the other side of the van, Ronald grabbed her feet and pulled
her back, saying "Don't make me hurt you." He
ripped off her jeans, and then he pulled down his pants and
choked her to get her to open her mouth. He put his penis in
her mouth for perhaps 30 seconds. He pushed her legs apart
and put his tongue in her vagina. He then shoved his penis
into her vagina for 30 seconds. When he pulled out, without
ejaculating, he laid on top of E.C., hugged her, and told her
he loved her.
7 The doctor who examined E.C. on December 14 testified that
he found several bruises on E.C.'s arms and hip.
8 Ronald testified that E.C. pulled off the highway of her
own accord, pulled down Ronald's pants, and performed
oral sex briefly. They did not have vaginal intercourse, and
he never performed oral sex on her.
9 The jury found Ronald guilty on all three counts of
aggravated criminal sexual assault. The court denied his
motion for a new trial
10 The trial court granted Ronald's motion to have a
social investigation performed by the juvenile probation
department rather than a presentence investigation performed
by the adult probation department. (In prior appeals, the
parties and this court referred to the social investigation
as a presentence investigation.) The social investigator,
writing in 2010, when Ronald was 16, reported that Ronald
tested positive for cocaine at birth. A relative of
Ronald's mother adopted him at 18 months of age, and he
grew up with his adoptive parents until they found they could
not protect his siblings from his increasingly violent
behavior. He had extensive psychiatric treatment from the
time he turned 11. The Department of Children and Family
Services took custody of Ronald, at his adoptive parents'
request, in 2006, when he was 13. He took Thorazine,
Benadryl, Prozac, Trileptal, and Abilify, amongst other
medications, to try to control his aggressive behavior and
his moods. An IQ test in 2006 resulted in a full-scale score
11 School records and records from SBHS showed that Ronald
acted somewhat violently on several occasions. He threw hot
water on a teacher in 2004, tried to bite SBHS staff members
when they restrained him in 2006, threatened to stab a staff
member in 2006, and stabbed a staff member with a pencil in
2008. The behaviors led to some loss of privileges at SBHS
and other discipline. Records also showed that at times SBHS
rewarded Ronald for extended periods of good behavior.
12 The social investigator said in her report that Ronald had
no prior police contacts. According to a printout from the
police department, Ronald had one prior arrest, for throwing
hot water on a teacher when he was 11, and the arrest
resulted in a station adjustment.
13 A neuropsychological evaluation of Ronald, performed in
2006, found that Ronald "presented with minimal
frustration tolerance ***. *** [H]e is easily distressed and
defensive when talking about his history. He feels guilty
over his action, yet has little sense of triggers,
precipitants, coping skills or insight into behavior or
emotions." Doctors diagnosed Ronald's condition as
"Bipolar disorder, mixed, severe [and] Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder." The social investigator
reported that an evaluation performed in May 2008 concluded
"Ronald's cognitive style is a major influence in
his current social and emotional functioning. His ability to
think logically and clearly becomes significantly compromised
when Ronald is experiencing intense emotions. His cognitive
factors are particularly problematic given he lacks a
consistent and clear style of coping. His coping skills are
inconsistent and unpredictable. When faced with
affective-laden situations or by his own feelings, Ronald is
unable to efficiently process his feelings."
14 After the offense, Dr. Roin Inaba, a psychologist working
for the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, started treating
Ronald. Dr. Inaba "report[ed] Ronald has experienced
tremendous growth over the past year and his willingness to
acknowledge and cope with his emotions has drastically
improved. Ronald has had many experiences with rejection by
adults and finds it hard to trust." According to Dr.
Inaba, "Ronald is a caring and sensitive person. ...