Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 19 CR 03429
Honorable Aleksandra Gillespie, Judge Presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE MIKVA delivered the judgment of the court,
with opinion. Justices Cunningham and Connors concurred in
the judgment and opinion.
1 This case is before the court on defendant Jason Gil's
motion, filed in accordance with Illinois Supreme Court Rule
604(c) (eff. July 1, 2017), for review of the circuit court
order denying him release on bail. The State has filed a
response to that motion. We recently discussed the
abbreviated procedures on a Rule 604(c) appeal in People
v. Simmons, 2019 IL App (1st) 191252, and those
procedures appear to have been properly followed here.
2 For the following reasons, we reverse the order of the
circuit court denying Mr. Gil release on bail and remand to
the circuit court for the purpose of setting the amount of
bail and other conditions of his release.
3 I. BACKGROUND
4 Mr. Gil was a math teacher at a Chicago Public School. In
February 2019, he was arrested and charged with having had a
sexual relationship with one of his students since 2016. The
victim was alleged to have been 13 and 14 years old during
the time that she had ongoing sexual contact and was trading
nude photographs with Mr. Gil.
5 On February 12, 2019, a judge in the circuit court found
that probable cause existed to detain Mr. Gil for multiple
felony offenses. On that date, the court was provided with
pretrial services' public safety assessment for Mr. Gil.
It showed that Mr. Gil had no criminal record. The assessment
placed him at a "1," the lowest possible number, in
terms of "new criminal activity." It also placed
him at a "1" on the possible failure to appear. It
recommended "maximum conditions" if released. The
court ordered that Mr. Gil be held without bail. The court
focused on the disturbing nature of the alleged crimes and
"The aggravation in this case tremendously outweighs the
mitigation. The Court finds that this defendant who stands
before me poses a real and present threat to this victim as
well as this community. The Court further finds that the
proof is evident, the presumption great that this defendant
indeed committed those offenses as charged."
6 On February 14, another judge in the circuit court denied
Mr. Gil's motion to set bail. The court again focused on
the "factors in aggravation and mitigation" and, on
the basis of the "findings" of the original circuit
court judge, continued the order of no bail. ¶ 7 Mr. Gil
was indicted by the grand jury, and the parties then appeared
before a third judge on March 26, 2019, for arraignment.
Counsel for Mr. Gil argued that he was eligible for bail. The
State acknowledged that Mr. Gil was statutorily eligible for
bail and that the State had not filed any motion to deny
bail. The court again denied the motion for bail and ruled
that the earlier order of no-bail would stand.
8 On April 10, 2019, Mr. Gil's counsel filed a motion to
reconsider the denial of bail. On July 26, 2019, the parties
appeared before the current circuit court judge and she
again, after a hearing, concluded: "After hearing the
facts of this case, reviewing the Pretrial Services Public
Safety Assessment, I agree with my peers that [Mr. Gil] shall
be held no bail."
9 On August 28, 2019, Mr. Gil filed a motion in the circuit
court, pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 604(c),
seeking further reconsideration of the denial of bail. On
October 23, 2019, the parties again appeared before the
court, who again denied the motion to reconsider the denial
of bail. This last motion was the necessary predicate to
filing this appeal under Rule 604(c).
10 II. ANALYSIS
11 The parties' dispute before this court focuses on
which section of the bail statute applies in this case. Mr.
Gil relies on section 110-6.1 of the bail statute (725 ILCS
5/110-6.1 (West 2016)), which requires the State to file a
verified petition before bail can be denied to a defendant
who, like Mr. Gil, has been charged with a non-probationable
felony offense and requires three specific factual findings
before bail can be denied. The State relies on section
110-4(a) of the statute (id. § 110-4(a)), which
it contends gives the circuit court authority to hold a
defendant without bail on a non-probationable felony offense
without any petition by the State, so long as the court
"after a hearing determines that the release of the
defendant would pose a real and present threat to the
physical safety of any person or persons." The parties
both acknowledge that the ...