People v. Monroe

CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois
Citation852 N.E.2d 888
Docket NumberNo. 2-04-0732.,2-04-0732.
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Douglas MONROE, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date12 July 2006
852 N.E.2d 888
The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Douglas MONROE, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 2-04-0732.
Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District.
July 12, 2006.

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G. Joseph Weller, Thomas A. Lilien, Deputy Defenders (Court-appointed), Office of the State Appellate Defender, Elgin, for Douglas Monroe.

Michael J. Waller, Lake County State's Attorney, Waukegan, Martin P. Moltz, Deputy Director, Mary Beth Burns, State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor, Elgin, for the People.

Justice GILLERAN JOHNSON delivered the opinion of the court:


In August 2002, the defendant, Douglas Monroe, was charged with sexually assaulting his stepdaughter and his stepson. Following a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child (720 ILCS 5/12-14.1(a)(1) (West 2002)) and aggravated criminal sexual abuse (720 ILCS 5/12-16(c)(1)(i) (West 2002)). The defendant was sentenced to a total of 13 years' imprisonment. On appeal, the defendant argues that he was deprived of a fair trial: (1) based on the improper admission of hearsay testimony; (2) based on the improper admission of other-crimes evidence; and (3) because of the children's father's hostility toward him, and the defendant's inability to fully cross-examine him. The defendant further contends that he is entitled to an additional day of credit against his sentence. We affirm as modified.

I. Background

On September 25, 2002, the defendant was charged by indictment with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child (720 ILCS 5/12-14.1(a)(1) (West 2002)) for allegedly committing two forms of sexual penetration (penis to vagina and penis to anus) against his stepdaughter, S.K., between January 1, 2000, and May 31, 2002. S.K. was born on November 27, 1992. The indictment further charged the defendant with aggravated criminal sexual abuse (720 ILCS 5/12-16(c)(1)(i) (West 2002)) for allegedly fondling the penis of his stepson, J.K., for the purposes of sexual gratification between May 1 and June 20, 2002. J.K. was born on September 28, 1991.

On January 27, 2003, pursuant to section 115-10 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (the Code) (725 ILCS 5/115-10 (West 2002)), the trial court conducted a hearing to determine the admissibility of certain hearsay statements made by J.K. and S.K. Charles K. testified that he was the children's father and lived in Combined Locks, Wisconsin, with his wife Trina. Charles' former wife Pamela was the children's mother and their primary custodian. She lived in Beach Park with her new husband, the defendant.

Charles testified that, on June 15, 2002, the two children were visiting him. Because S.K. had recently been hit and punched by her stepbrother Christopher, Charles talked to the children about how such physical abuse was inappropriate. He also explained that mental and sexual abuse was improper. After he mentioned this, both J.K. and S.K. indicated to him that they had been sexually abused by the defendant. The children indicated that the defendant had touched them inappropriately and had also made them touch each other in places where they should not be touched. S.K. indicated that the defendant had placed his penis on her vagina.

After Trina returned from work, Charles explained to her that there was a problem, that both children were claiming that the defendant had sexually abused them. Charles then had the children talk separately to Trina. Both children reported

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similar incidents of abuse to Trina as they had to him. After the children informed them of this abuse, Charles and Trina took the children to the hospital.

Trina also testified at the hearing. She testified that J.K. had told her that the defendant had put his penis between his butt cheeks and rubbed very hard, that the defendant had fondled him, and that the defendant had made him touch S.K. on her inner thigh and tickle her while they were both naked. S.K. told her that the defendant had put his penis between her butt cheeks and between her vagina. S.K. indicated that the defendant did not put his penis inside her, but he did push very hard. S.K. also indicated that the defendant would make J.K. and her take their clothes off and tickle each other on the inner thighs.

At the close of the hearing, the trial court found that, based on the totality of the circumstances, there was a sufficient showing of reliability for the statements allegedly made to Charles and Trina to be admissible.

On May 11, 2004, prior to trial, the trial court considered various motions in limine. In particular, the trial court considered the defense motion to bar evidence of uncharged conduct. The defendant argued that no evidence regarding the two children touching each other should be admitted, because the defendant was never charged with causing either child to commit acts against the other for his own sexual gratification or for their gratification. The State responded that such evidence would be appropriate because it went to show lack of mistake, intent, and mental state in committing the crimes charged. The trial court ruled that such evidence would be admissible in order to show the defendant's intent or preparation or plan, that is, the defendant's plan to prepare the children to be sexually assaulted.

The trial court also considered the defense motion to bar any testimony that the defendant had placed his penis against J.K.'s buttocks. The trial court granted the motion. When the State subsequently nol-prossed the count of predatory sexual assault involving contact of the defendant's penis with S.K.'s anus, the trial court extended its ruling on that motion to include that conduct.

At trial, Charles and Trina testified substantially the same as they had at the section 115-10 hearing. In particular, Charles testified that the children had told him that the defendant had been abusing them. Additionally, S.K. told him that the defendant would make her and J.K. touch each other in their "privates." Trina testified that, in addition to indicating that the defendant had sexually abused him, J.K. stated that the defendant had made him and S.K. remove their clothes and tickle each other on the inner thighs. Trina further testified that S.K. had told her that the defendant had made J.K. and her take off their clothes and tickle each other on the inner thighs.

S.K. testified that she was 11 years old and currently in fifth grade. S.K. testified that when she was in the second grade, the defendant had touched her on her vagina with his hand or penis. S.K. did not tell anyone about what happened during second grade because the defendant had threatened to beat her if she told. S.K. testified that the defendant had also touched her vagina with his finger when she was in the third grade. S.K. testified that there were also times when the defendant had J.K. and S.K. take off their clothes and tickle each other near their privates. S.K. indicated that she did not tell either Charles or Trina on June 15, 2002, that the defendant had abused her.

J.K. testified that he was 12 years old and currently in sixth grade. J.K. testified

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that on one night in the spring of his fifth-grade year, when he was alone with the defendant, the defendant ordered him to remove his pants. J.K. complied because he was afraid that the defendant would get very mad. The defendant then touched J.K.'s private part for 15 minutes. J.K. did not tell anyone about this incident because the defendant told him that he would beat him if he did.

J.K. further testified that there were other times when the defendant had touched his penis. J.K. used to sleep in the defendant's room about once a month after watching scary movies. J.K. would sleep on a foam pad kept under the couch. There were times when J.K. slept in the room that the defendant touched his penis. Also, on one occasion when J.K. was in the third grade, the defendant had J.K. tickle S.K. on the upper leg, toward her private part. The defendant did not tell S.K. to do anything else to J.K. Nor was there any other time when he had J.K. touch S.K. J.K. denied making any statements to Trina on June 15, 2002, that the defendant had been abusing him. He also denied making any statements to the hospital staff after Charles and Trina took him there on June 15, 2002, to be examined.

Mary Jo Kohler testified that she is a registered nurse at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, Wisconsin, and has been certified as a "Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner." On June 15, 2002, she was working in the emergency room when Charles brought J.K. and S.K. in to be examined. S.K. told her that the defendant would take off all her clothes at night and would put his penis between her legs. S.K. indicated that this happened almost every night and began when she was in the first grade. S.K. further stated that she and her brother were often asked to tickle each other on the upper legs, and she did not like that.

Kohler further testified that J.K. stated that the defendant had been sexually abusing him, with the most recent abuse occurring two weeks earlier. J.K. stated that the defendant would come to his room, saying he had something to show him, would tell J.K. to undress, then would touch J.K. with his hand. J.K. informed her of similar incidents of abuse, dating back to when he was in kindergarten.

The defendant testified on his own behalf. He denied all of the charges against him. He also denied ever having J.K. and S.K. take off all of their clothes and tickle each other.

At the close of trial, the jury found the defendant guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child (720 ILCS 5/12-14.1(a)(1) (West 2002)) and aggravated criminal sexual abuse (720 ILCS 5/12-16(c)(1)(i) (West 2002)). Following the denial of his posttrial motion,...

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