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People v. Kallal

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

April 26, 2019

JACOB D. KALLAL, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County, No. 01-CF-403; the Hon. John M. Madonia, Judge, presiding.

          William L. Vig, of Vig Law, P.C., of Springfield, for appellant.

          Daniel K. Wright, State's Attorney, of Springfield (Patrick Delfino, David J. Robinson, and James Ryan Williams, of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

          Panel JUSTICE TURNER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Steigmann and Harris concurred in the judgment and opinion.



         ¶ 1 In November 2017, a jury found defendant, Jacob D. Kallal, remained a sexually dangerous individual pursuant to the Sexually Dangerous Persons Act (Act) (725 ILCS 205/0.01 to 12 (West 2016)). Defendant appeals, arguing the trial court erred in the following ways: (1) it failed to bar the State from calling one of defendant's treatment providers, (2) it restricted defendant's cross-examination of the State's expert witness, (3) it failed to enter a judgment notwithstanding the verdict because the jury verdict form did not include an explicit finding it was "substantially probable" respondent would engage in a future sex offense if not confined, and (4) it failed to declare a mistrial based on the State's closing argument. Defendant also argued the State's evidence was insufficient to establish defendant was still sexually dangerous. We affirm.

         ¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 On July 16, 2001, defendant was declared a sexually dangerous person and committed to the custody of the director of the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC). On July 20, 2015, he filed an application for discharge or conditional release from DOC. On January 14, 2016, the State filed a socio-psychiatric report prepared by Dr. Melissa Weldon-Padera.

         ¶ 4 In August 2016, a jury trial was held on defendant's discharge application. The jury could not reach a verdict, and the trial court declared a mistrial.

         ¶ 5 In November 2017, defendant had a second jury trial on his application to be discharged from DOC confinement. Defendant filed a motion in limine, asking the trial court to bar the State from introducing the testimony of Heather Young, a special-offender program therapist who treated defendant at Big Muddy Correctional Center (Big Muddy), because her testimony violated section 9(a) of the Act (725 ILCS 205/9(a) (West 2016)). The trial court denied defendant's motion.

         ¶ 6 Dr. Melissa Weldon-Padera, a psychologist, testified she completed a comprehensive evaluation of defendant to determine whether he was still sexually dangerous in January 2016, which she documented in a report dated January 12, 2016. She updated the evaluation on January 4, 2017. For the updated evaluation, she reviewed defendant's records since the last evaluation and spoke to his primary therapist about any progress he had made since the last evaluation.

         ¶ 7 Before Dr. Weldon-Padera wrote her first report dated January 12, 2016, she spoke with defendant on January 5, 2016, for three hours. He was cooperative, polite, and soft-spoken. His thought content was slightly concrete, but his insight and judgment were fair. His intellectual functioning was below average. She did not interview him again for the updated evaluation. Defendant admitted committing the offenses for which he was charged but did not accept full responsibility for his actions.

         ¶ 8 The doctor testified it is important for an individual like defendant to accept responsibility because he is then able to learn and understand his offense cycle, victim empathy, what triggers his sexual interests, and what his high-risk factors are. Defendant did not seem to understand his assault cycle, which was an important factor to keep him from reoffending. Defendant also had five disciplinary tickets with seven infractions, including a ticket in 2008 for masturbating in the library at Big Muddy while watching a female employee, and numerous program tickets specific to his treatment program.

         ¶ 9 Dr. Weldon-Padera also reviewed defendant's sexual-offense history, which she said was an important factor in determining sexual recidivism and an individual's pattern over a period of time. Defendant had a criminal history. In 1997, when he was 18, the State charged defendant with public indecency for exposing himself and masturbating in front of a woman (age 18) he did not know, a similar act involving another female stranger (age 35), and masturbating in front of a teenage female stranger (age 15). In 2001, he was charged with theft from a person and public indecency involving another female stranger (age 72). Two months after that incident, he was charged with indecent solicitation or abuse of a child under age 13, sexual exploitation of a child, public indecency, battery, and obscenity.

         ¶ 10 The victims in this last case were two young girls, each only eight years old. Defendant approached the girls on his bicycle, showed them a pornographic picture and asked them if they could do what was depicted. He then unzipped his pants, exposed his penis, and began masturbating. Defendant then grabbed one of the girls by the back of her head and pulled her head toward his penis. The girl hit defendant, and the two girls escaped. As a result of this last offense, defendant was declared a sexually dangerous person based on two counts of indecent solicitation of a child and one count of attempt (predatory criminal sexual assault of a child). He was 22 at the time.

         ¶ 11 Dr. Weldon-Padera also noted defendant was accused of or investigated for other uncharged incidents. In 2001, he was accused of two other incidents involving public indecency and disorderly conduct for exposing himself to two female employees at a dry cleaning business. In 2006, defendant was investigated for aggravated criminal sexual assault against a seven-year-old female acquaintance. The alleged victim in that case accused him of forcing her to perform oral sex on him. From the doctor's testimony, it was unclear when this actually occurred but presumably it was before defendant was placed in DOC custody.

         ¶ 12 Defendant's criminal history also included arrests for retail theft, residential burglary, attempt (residential burglary), criminal trespass to land, criminal damage to property, and domestic battery. Dr. Weldon-Padera stated these incidents were related to defendant's antisocial personality disorder and led to a higher risk ...

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