from the Circuit Court of Lake County. No. 11-CF-80 Honorable
Christopher R. Stride, Judge, Presiding.
Attorneys for Appellant: James E. Chadd, Peter A. Carusona,
and Amber Hopkins-Reed, of State Appellate Defender's
Office, of Ottawa, for appellant.
Attorneys for Appellee: Michel G. Nerheim, State's
Attorney, of Waukegan (Patrick Delfino, Edward R. Psenicka,
and Richard S. London, of State's Attorneys Appellate
Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.
JUSTICE HUTCHINSON delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Burke and Schostok concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 Defendant, Benjamin Pabello, appeals from the judgment of
the circuit court of Lake County denying his postconviction
petition following a third-stage hearing. Because
postconviction counsel provided reasonable assistance, we
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 Defendant was convicted in the circuit court of Lake County
of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child
(720 ILCS 5/12-14.1(a)(1) (West 2010)). We affirmed. See
People v. Pabello, 2014 IL App (2d) 120927-U.
4 Defendant then filed a pro se postconviction petition. The
trial court advanced the petition to the second stage and
5 Counsel filed a certificate under Illinois Supreme Court
Rule 651(c) (eff July 1, 2017). Counsel certified that he
consulted with defendant, examined the record, and amended
the pro se petition to the extent necessary to
adequately present defendant's claims.
6 Counsel also filed a supplemental postconviction petition,
alleging that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to
file a motion to suppress defendant's statements to the
police. In that regard, counsel asserted that defendant's
Miranda waiver was invalid in light of (1)
defendant's lack of understanding of English and (2)
defendant's lack of education. Defendant's supporting
affidavit averred, among other things, that he attended
school only to the fifth grade.
7 The State agreed to proceed to a third-stage hearing. The
following facts were established at the hearing. According to
defendant, he was born in Mexico and lived there until he was
22 years old. Spanish was the only language spoken in his
home. He completed the sixth grade. Spanish was the only
language used in his school.
8 Defendant moved to the United States when he was 22 years
old. While here, he never formally studied English as a
second language. Defendant worked mostly in landscaping,
where he spoke only Spanish.
9 According to defendant, during his interrogation the
officers spoke only English. Although a female officer tried
to talk to him in Spanish, he did not understand her. When
defendant asked for an interpreter, the officers told him
that none was available.
10 On cross-examination, defendant admitted that, after he
was able to learn "a little bit of English," he was
hired to work at a gas station. That job included working the
cash register on the night shift but did not require him to
speak English. When customers ...