from the Circuit Court of Du Page County No. 16-CF-1568
Honorable John J. Kinsella, Judge, Presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE BIRKETT delivered the judgment of the
court, with opinion. Justices Spence concurred in the
judgment and opinion. Justice McLaren dissented, with
BIRKETT, PRESIDING JUSTICE
1 Defendant, Timothy J. Peltz, was charged by indictment with
18 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child
(720 ILCS 5/11-1.40(a)(1) (West 2012)) and 5 counts of
aggravated criminal sexual abuse (id. §
11-1.60(c)(1)(i)). He entered a nonnegotiated plea of guilty
to four counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a
child, and the remaining charges were nol-prossed. The trial
court sentenced defendant to 4 consecutive 8½-year
prison terms. Defendant unsuccessfully moved to reconsider
his sentence and this appeal followed. Defendant argues that,
because his attorney failed to file a proper certificate
under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 604(d) (eff. Mar. 8, 2016),
the case must be remanded to the trial court for proceedings
in compliance with that rule. Defendant alternatively argues
that: (1) the trial court improperly considered its own
opinion in determining defendant's sentence and (2) the
trial court improperly imposed multiple DNA analysis fees and
sexually transmitted disease testing fees. We affirm
defendant's conviction and sentence, but remand to the
trial court, where defendant may challenge the imposition of
the multiple fees.
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 As the factual basis for defendant's plea, it was
stipulated that, if called as a witness at trial, A.P. would
testify that she was born on August 5, 2000, and that
defendant was her adoptive father. Defendant took baths with
her until she was about 11 years old and would touch her
everywhere on her body. On multiple occasions defendant
forced A.P. to touch his penis. In addition, he forced her to
perform oral sex on him on multiple occasions. Defendant
placed his penis and fingers in her vagina and his mouth on
4 Robert Holguin, an investigator with the Du Page County
State's Attorney's Office, would testify that he
interviewed defendant, who told him that he would bathe A.P.
and would have her wash his erect penis. That began when A.P.
was very young and continued until she was 10 or 11 years
old. Around that time, defendant started kissing and licking
A.P.'s vagina and had her perform oral sex on him.
Defendant engaged in oral sex with A.P. frequently. Defendant
told Holguin that he probably rubbed his penis on A.P.'s
vagina on one or two occasions, but did not penetrate her.
Defendant believed the conduct to be consensual, but he knew
that it was wrong and against the law.
5 At defendant's sentencing hearing, Holguin testified
that he interviewed A.P. on August 31, 2016, and on September
19, 2016. She was withdrawn and uncomfortable when she spoke
with him. A.P. told Holguin that she had been sexually abused
from the time she was 3½ years old. She said
that the abuse started when defendant would take baths with
her and that he would touch her chest, breast, and vagina.
Defendant forced her to perform oral sex. Asked how often
defendant touched her vagina, A.P. said" 'Oh my
gosh, so many times.'" She also told Holguin that it
happened every day.
6 Defendant also penetrated A.P.'s vagina with his
fingers and his penis when she was 10 to 12 years old. The
abuse stopped when A.P. was about 13 years old and she began
to physically resist. When A.P. was about 15 years old, she
reinitiated her relationship with defendant because she
wanted to give him a second chance to be a good father.
However, the sexual abuse began all over again. Defendant
touched her breast and vagina on the outside of her clothing,
talked to her in a sexual manner, pinched her, and offered to
help her dress. A.P. resisted by locking herself in her room,
locking the bathroom door, and (in Holguin's words)
"positioning herself in a way where he wasn't able
to touch her." Defendant accused A.P. of teasing him. He
gave A.P. a purity ring, which she threw out a window. A.P.
told Holguin that she had tried to harm herself because of
the abuse. She cut herself and attempted suicide.
7 A video recording of Holguin's interview with defendant
was admitted into evidence and played during the sentencing
hearing. Defendant told Holguin that there were times,
possibly when A.P. was 10 or 11 years old, that he would be
taking a bath and A.P. would jump in with him. A.P. would
have defendant wash her. He stated that A.P. would wash his
penis and he would get an erection. He admitted that he
touched A.P.'s vagina and buttocks in the bath. Also,
defendant "vaguely remembered" putting his finger
in A.P.'s vagina when they were not in the bath. Asked
whether he ever rubbed his penis against A.P.'s vagina,
defendant responded, "it probably could have happened, I
guess." Defendant told Holguin that his physical contact
with A.P. was consensual and that he never threatened her.
Defendant admitted that what he had done was wrong and
8 Three text messages from defendant to his wife, Laurie (who
was A.P.'s adoptive mother), were admitted into evidence.
The messages were sent on August 31, 2016, either before
Holguin interviewed defendant or during a break in the
interview when defendant was not in Holguin's presence.
In one of the text messages, defendant stated that he was
sorry for hurting his family. He asked for his wife's
forgiveness, but he also indicated that he forgave
A.P. In the second text message, he complained, "because
of this,, [sic] I will probably NOT be ABLE to get a
job to help support our family." The third message
stated, "You know, [A.P.] loved to tease me. Like when,
I would get up from couch to kitchen, she would run, throw
herself at me, kiss me, jump and give me a chest bump, grab
me. This is NOT all my doing eather [sic]."
9 In addition, recordings of telephone conversations between
defendant and his mother were admitted into evidence. During
the conversations, which took place while defendant was in
the Du Page County jail following his arrest, defendant
indicated that he did not force himself upon A.P., that she
"never said no," and that she was promiscuous.
Defendant indicated that he was in jail because he
"overloved" his daughter. He suggested that if A.P.
had come forward earlier, the abuse would have stopped.
10 Both A.P. and Laurie provided victim impact statements.
Laurie lamented the loss of "[her] husband, [her] best
friend, and [her] daughter's father." She expressed
her own feelings of guilt for not realizing that defendant
had been abusing A.P., but she added that defendant "hid
the abuse and manipulated [A.P.] into believing it was her
fault so she would not tell anyone." She described
A.P.'s mental health issues stemming from the abuse,
including severe anxiety, suicidal ideation, posttraumatic
stress disorder, and major depression. Laurie added that she
and A.P. had lost any sense of normalcy. They had moved from
their home "due to the trauma [A.P.] experienced
there." Laurie had become the sole provider and was
struggling financially. In addition, defendant's family
(including A.P.'s grandmother) was absent from their
11 In her own victim impact statement, A.P. stated that she
had been adopted by defendant and Laurie when she was
3½ years old and that defendant abused her
sexually, physically, and emotionally. At the age of 13, she
understood that what defendant was doing to her was wrong and
she began to physically fight him. However, she also began
cutting herself and developed eating disorders. Defendant
crushed her dreams, including her dream of joining the United
States Marine Corps.
12 Defendant submitted numerous letters of support. The
letters characterized defendant as hard-working, honest, a
good friend, and a person of faith. Speaking in allocution,
defendant professed his love for A.P. and Laurie and he
apologized to them, adding that he never knew how his
behavior would impact their lives.
13 In pronouncing sentence, the trial court commented that
defendant's conduct was "wrong by every
measure" and that his attempt to rationalize his
behavior to claiming that A.P. was a tease was
"disgusting and disturbing." The court also
remarked that it was "particularly egregious and
aggravating on top of everything [that defendant] chose to be
[A.P.'s] father." The court referred to "the
sickness that brought [defendant] to these acts" and
defendant's "depraved view of
sexuality." The court also stated that "the only
means by which society can speak in an appropriate response
to this sort of crime is by placing a number of years that
we're going to lock you in a cage."
14 Through counsel, defendant moved to reconsider his
sentence, arguing that it was excessive; that the trial court
failed to consider all applicable statutory mitigating
factors; and that the trial court failed to consider
defendant's rehabilitative potential, lack of a criminal
history, and remorse for his conduct. The trial court denied
the motion and defendant filed a timely notice of appeal.
15 II. ANALYSIS
16 We first consider defendant's argument that his
attorney's Rule 604(d) certificate was defective. When
the trial court ruled on defendant's motion to
reconsider, Rule 604(d) (eff. Mar. 8, 2016) provided, in
pertinent part, as follows:
"No appeal from a judgment entered upon a plea of guilty
shall be taken unless the defendant, within 30 days of the
date on which sentence is imposed, files in the trial court a
motion to reconsider the sentence, if only the sentence is
being challenged, or, if the plea is being challenged, a
motion to withdraw the plea of guilty and vacate the
judgment. *** If the defendant is indigent, the trial court
shall order a copy of the transcript *** be furnished the
defendant without cost. The defendant's attorney shall
file with the trial court a certificate stating that the
attorney has consulted with the defendant either by phone,
mail, electronic means or in person to ascertain
defendant's contentions of error in the sentence and the
entry of the plea of guilty, has examined the trial court
file and both the report of proceedings of the plea of guilty
and the report of proceedings in the sentencing hearing, and
has made any amendments to the motion necessary for adequate
presentation of any defects in those proceedings. The motion
shall be heard promptly, and if allowed, the trial court
shall modify the sentence or vacate the judgment and permit
the defendant to withdraw the plea of guilty and plead anew.
If the motion is denied, a notice of appeal from the judgment
and sentence shall be filed within the time allowed in Rule
606, measured from the date of entry of the order denying the
motion. Upon appeal any issue not raised by the defendant in
the motion to reconsider the sentence or withdraw the plea of
guilty and vacate the judgment shall be deemed waived.
The certificate of counsel shall be in the following
OF ILLINOIS IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE ___ JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
COUNTY OF ___ (Or, IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY)
OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff
OF COUNSEL PURSUANT TO ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT RULE 604(d)
attorney for Defendant, certify pursuant to Supreme ...