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People v. Patterson

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division

May 22, 2018

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
RONALD PATTERSON, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal 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.

          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.

         ¶ 2 BACKGROUND

         ¶ 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 scraped skin.

         ¶ 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 2008).

         ¶ 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 of 72.

         ¶ 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. ...


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