People v. DeFrates

Decision Date28 September 1965
Docket NumberNo. 39107,39107
Citation210 N.E.2d 467,33 Ill.2d 190
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Defendant in Error, v. Walter DeFRATES, Plaintiff in Error.
CourtIllinois Supreme Court

Alan Masters and Richard H. Devine, Chicago, for plaintiff in error.

William G. Clark, Atty. Gen., Springfield, and Daniel P. Ward, State's Atty., Chicago (Fred G. Leach, Asst. Atty. Gen., and William Martin and Elmer C. Kissane, Asst. State's Attys., of counsel), for defendant in error.


After a bench trial in the criminal court of Cook County, the defendant, Walter DeFrates, was found guilty of rape and sentenced to the penitentiary for a term of 10 to 25 years. The appellate court, with one justice dissenting, affirmed the judgment of conviction (53 Ill.App.2d 277, 203 N.E.2d 188) and we have granted defendant's petition for leave to appeal. The critical issue is whether the proof establishes beyond all reasonable doubt that an act of sexual intercourse was forcible and against the will of the complaining witness.

Defendant was a heating and air conditioning engineer who, on at least six occasions between October, 1961, and April 12, 1962, had been in the family home of the prosecutrix to service equipment. It appears that a familiarity with the prosecutrix and her husband was established beyond what would normally be expected to arise from the relationship, and that defendant, for some reason or other, submitted a bill only for the first call he made in October, 1961. During the first week of April, 1962, he was asked by the husband of the prosecutrix to adjust some fans, but this work had not been done when the husband went away on a business trip which extended through April 12. Remaining home alone were the prosecutrix and three daughters, aged eleven ten and eight years. According to the prosecutrix she received a telephone call from defendant at about 2:45 A.M. on the morning of April 12, and he stated that he had just made another call in the vicinity and was coming over to make the service call her husband had requested. She said that she told him her husband was not home and sought to dissuade him, but that defendant insisted upon doing the work then. After defendant had hung up, prosecutrix testified that she took off her pajamas, and put on underpants, a brassiere, a slip, shoes, and a 'brunch' coat which extended below her knees.

When defendant arrived at the residence about 3:00 A.M., he was admitted by the prosecutrix, and there was agreement that he first inspected heating equipment in various parts of the house in the company of the prosecutrix, and that he then requested and was given a drink of liquor by the prosecutrix in the kitchen, though she stated she did so reluctantly and only after defendant had insisted he was cold. Continuing her testimony, the prosecutrix testified that defendant returned to the kitchen after having been in the basement, and put his ams around her and asked for a kiss, a request that was first denied but subsequently granted when defendant inquired if he would have to use force and started choking her until she could not breathe. Defendant then proposed sexual intercourse and, when this proposal was refused, he took her by the shoulders and 'marched' her to the basement. There, when he ordered her to take her dress off, she did so and also removed her underclothing with defendant's assistance. At this time defendant gave her a choice of committing the sexual act either on the basement floor or 'up in the bed,' whereupon she chose the latter, but stated she 'was not marching through this house nude with the children awake.' Defendant then allowed her to put on her house coat and once again took hold of her shoulders and 'marched' her from the basement to her bedroom where, on his order, she removed her house coat and got into bed.

They remained in the bedroom until 5:45 A.M., or for approximately two hours. Prosecutrix testified there was an initial act of vaginal intercourse which was accomplished only after defendant had inquired: 'Do I have to force you again?', and had ignored her pleas that she was suffering from being treated for a vaginal condition which caused her great pain. Later, over her protests, she said that defendant subjected her to an act of anal intercourse and to a second act of vaginal intercourse. She testified that when she 'screamed into the pillow' during the anal intercourse, defendant said: 'Shut up or I'll beat you up.' In the intervals between these sexual activities, defendant talked about a wide variety of subjects, and as he did so kept one locked over the body of the prosecutrix and an arm over her chest, exerting pressure whenever she tried to arise. Shortly before 5:45 A.M., according to the prosecutrix, she left the room on the pretext that she wanted to shut off the children's alarm clocks before they rang. Instead, she awakened the three children and ran with them to the house of a nextdoor neighbor where they were admitted once the neighbors were aroused. About 7:00 A.M. the police were called and at their suggestion the prosecutrix was sent to a hospital for examination.

Defendant's version of the incident and the background leading to it was entirely different. He testified that he had been a frequent visitor at the home after October, 1961, both socially and in a business capacity, and that after his second visit he had been intimate with the prosecutrix on numerous occasions. His business made service calls on a 24-hour basis and he stated that when he had returned to his office about 3:00 A.M. on the morning of April 12, he was given a list of calls and told that the prosecutrix had called...

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46 cases
  • People v. Phillips
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • March 10, 1989
    ...unwary males and plague the criminal justice system. (People v. Taylor (1971), 48 Ill.2d 91, 268 N.E.2d 865; People v. DeFrates (1965), 33 Ill.2d 190, 210 N.E.2d 467; People v. Jackson (1989), 178 Ill.App.3d 785, 127 Ill.Dec. 914, 533 N.E.2d 996; People v. Dick (1987), 153 Ill.App.3d 670, d......
  • People v. Dick, 83-2989
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • February 27, 1987
    ...was committed by force and against the will of the female. (People v. Taylor (1971), 48 Ill.2d 91, 268 N.E.2d 865; People v. DeFrates (1965), 33 Ill.2d 190, 210 N.E.2d 467.) * * * * * * Reviewing courts are especially charged with the duty of carefully examining the evidence in rape cases. ......
  • People v. Witte
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • May 20, 1983
    ...resistance would have endangered her safety. Defendant finds "dangerous parallels" between the case at bar and People v. DeFrates, 33 Ill.2d 190, 195-96, 210 N.E.2d 467 (1965), where the supreme court reversed a rape conviction for insufficient corroboration of force by defendant and agains......
  • People v. Carlson
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • March 12, 1996
    ...judge stated, "I believe the victim was paralyzed with fear and shock." This is obviously distinguishable from People v. DeFrates, 33 Ill.2d 190, 195, 210 N.E.2d 467 (1965) cited by defendant, in which the court found that there was nothing in the record to support a conclusion that the vic......
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