People v. Nevilles

CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois
Citation2021 IL App (1st) 191388,193 N.E.3d 246,456 Ill.Dec. 278
Docket Number1-19-1388
Parties The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Derrick NEVILLES, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date05 November 2021

2021 IL App (1st) 191388
193 N.E.3d 246
456 Ill.Dec.

The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Derrick NEVILLES, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 1-19-1388

Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, SIXTH DIVISION.

Filed November 5, 2021

James E. Chadd, Douglas R. Hoff, and Jennifer L. Bontrager, of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Chicago, for appellant.

Kimberly M. Foxx, State's Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J. Spellberg, Mary L. Boland, and Tasha-Marie Kelly, Assistant State's Attorneys, of counsel), for the People.

JUSTICE HARRIS delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

456 Ill.Dec. 282

¶ 1 Defendant, Derrick Nevilles, appeals his conviction after a jury trial of criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of T.B. and B.B., and his sentence of 27 years’ imprisonment. On appeal, defendant contends (1) the State failed to prove him guilty of the crimes beyond a reasonable doubt where the testimony of T.B. and B.B. was vague, inconsistent, and contradictory and no evidence corroborated the testimony; (2) trial counsel provided ineffective assistance when they agreed to join T.B. and B.B.’s cases and the joinder prejudiced defendant; and (3) the trial judge erred in allowing the State to introduce irrelevant and inflammatory evidence regarding incidents that occurred after the offenses charged in this case. For the following reasons, we affirm.


¶ 3 Defendant was sentenced on April 22, 2019. He filed a late notice of appeal,

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456 Ill.Dec. 283

which this court allowed, on July 17, 2019. Accordingly, this court has jurisdiction pursuant to article VI, section 6, of the Illinois Constitution ( Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, § 6 ) and Illinois Supreme Court Rule 603 (eff. Feb. 6, 2013) and Rule 606 (eff. July 1, 2017), governing appeals from a final judgment of conviction in a criminal case entered below.


¶ 5 In 2014, defendant was charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of T.B. and B.B. that occurred while they were members of New Voices, a musical group. Defendant formed the group and was its manager. The indictments charged defendant for offenses against T.B. that occurred between December 27, 2003, to January 31, 2004; April 1, 2003, to December 26, 2005; and February 1, 2004, to December 26, 2005, when T.B. was under 18 years of age and defendant "held a position of trust, authority, or supervision in relation to T.B." as the manager of New Voices. Defendant was also charged with multiple counts regarding B.B. for offenses that occurred between May 1, 2003, to December 31, 2004, when B.B. was under 18 years of age and defendant "held a position of trust, authority, or supervision in relation to B.B." as the manager of New Voices.

¶ 6 Prior to trial, the State filed a motion to join T.B.’s and B.B.’s cases. Defense counsel did not object, stating, "having reviewed the law and the facts of the case, I don't believe there is a legal objection to joinder in this matter." The State also sought to admit evidence of other crimes pursuant to section 115-7.3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (Code) ( 725 ILCS 5/115-7.3 (West 2018) ). The State wanted to admit T.B.’s and B.B.’s testimonies in each other's cases and sought admission of testimony from A.I., another former member of New Voices. The trial court allowed the other-crimes evidence to show "motive, intent, knowledge, absence of mistake and modus operandi ," as well as propensity.

¶ 7 Prior to trial, defense counsel filed a motion to bar testimony of Charron Davis that she observed defendant and T.B. engaging in sexual activity. Counsel argued that the State could not prove that the activity occurred when T.B. was under 18 years old. The trial court denied the motion, finding that defense counsel could cross-examine Davis "as to the time period" of the acts. Upon reconsideration, the trial court again denied the motion:

"The court believes that this is intrinsic evidence. [It's] [p]art of the allegations that's contained in the indictment[.] I don't feel that it's extrinsic to that and as such it should be admitted. It's just the nature of intrinsic evidence. It might be prejudicial to the defendant, but that is just the nature of the charge when it's intrinsic."

¶ 8 At trial, T.B. testified that she auditioned for New Voices when she was 15 years old. She was accepted as a member and her mother signed a contract with defendant. At the time, the group consisted of T.B. and another girl named Tiffany. They rehearsed in an office space in Park Forest. A few months later, B.B., a girl from Tiffany's school, also joined the group. Shortly after B.B. became a member, the group began rehearsing in the living room of defendant's home in Park Forest. When the weather was nice, they rehearsed in the detached garage. Defendant would pick up T.B. and B.B. after school for rehearsals and then take them home. Defendant's "daughters had after school stuff, and his wife was at work" when they rehearsed during the week. Defendant wanted the girls to learn how to

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456 Ill.Dec. 284

play instruments, and T.B. began studying piano. About a month later, Tiffany left New Voices and J.M. and D.B. joined the group.

¶ 9 T.B. testified that they rehearsed together but each member also "practiced separately, so it would be—if it was my day to practice, it was just [defendant] and I." For weekend rehearsals, the girls spent the night at defendant's house "because [defendant] was the one that was driving us and taking us back, so he suggested to our parents that we just stay the weekend. You know, he had a wife, kids, *** our parents felt like it would be okay." The group rehearsed every weekend. When they stayed overnight, T.B. and B.B. slept on couches in the living room because the house was small.

¶ 10 After T.B. joined New Voices, defendant started asking her questions about whether she had a boyfriend or was sexually active. He also asked her if she was a virgin, and T.B. responded that she was. T.B. answered the questions because she thought he was asking them to "see if she was serious about what she was doing" with New Voices. Defendant asked these questions frequently and discouraged T.B. from having a boyfriend.

¶ 11 The group "did some shows *** at the local McDonalds," and they planned to audition in California with record labels. T.B. testified that as they prepared for the auditions, defendant would tell her about a record executive in California named Pete and that "[T.B.] would be asked to have sex with him in order to land that record deal, even if [she] was talented that [she] would have to have sex with him." Defendant told her, "that's the way it works in the business." Defendant also told T.B. that because she was a virgin, she would need "to prepare to have sex" with Pete. Defendant said "he should be the one to do that." He brought up the idea of having sex with T.B. at almost every rehearsal. He would tell T.B. that her mother "didn't have much" and T.B. could change her life if the group became successful. T.B. agreed to "try it." These conversations occurred during T.B.’s individual practice sessions with defendant in the garage.

¶ 12 The first incident took place in defendant's garage. Defendant placed a comforter on the floor and told T.B. to undress. Defendant touched T.B.’s breasts and vagina and kissed her on her neck. Defendant then masturbated and told T.B. he was going to put his penis inside her. He told her not to cry and to "try to handle it," but T.B. "clenched up really bad." Defendant "then said that we would just pretty much do oral sex." He told T.B. that she "needed to learn oral sex and to perform oral sex on him." After that, almost every time T.B. went to defendant's house to rehearse he performed oral sex on her and made her perform oral sex on him. He told her that they were "practicing to lead up to meeting Pete."

¶ 13 In the summer of 2004, New Voices traveled to California to audition for record labels. Defendant accompanied the group as did D.B.’s mother, who went as a chaperone. Defendant stayed in one hotel room with T.B. and B.B., and D.B.’s mother stayed in another room with the other girls. T.B. testified that it was defendant's idea to have them share a room. While in their room, defendant asked B.B. to leave. He told T.B. that "he needed to work with [her] again," to have sex with her, in the room. Defendant performed oral sex on T.B., he had T.B. perform oral sex on him, and he masturbated in front of T.B. Defendant also tried to put his penis in T.B.’s vagina. At one point, defendant asked her to leave the room so he could be alone with B.B.

¶ 14 They spent two nights in California, and when they returned, there was "a big

193 N.E.3d 253
456 Ill.Dec. 285

uproar" about the room arrangements and J.M. and D.B. left the group. Defendant told T.B. that the label wanted to hear more from them but since only two members...

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