First District Appellate Court Upholds Home Invasion/Sex Assault Conviction. Calling the Police “Superheroes” Is Improper.

This is a case where several people entered an alleged drug house where no drugs or drug money was found which led to an attack on family members there including a sexual assault. This defendant took the position that he arrived to obtain drugs when the others came to rob the place, which this defendant claimed he had nothing to do with.

The appellate court decided:

1. This defendant was accountable for the co-defendant’s decision to sexually assault one of the victims in the apartment because he participated in stripping her of her clothes and made lewd comments about her before the assault took place (no other victim had this happen).

2. The jury was properly instructed on accountability.

3. The prosecutor’s comments in opening statement referring to the police as the heroes or superheroes of one of the victims was improper, but harmless.

4. The statement that criminals are cowards during closing argument is also improper, yet also harmless.

5. That the prosecutor’s comments in closing argument about God were proper but cautioned against its use in the future.

6. The IPI instruction about statements should not have been given since the sole evidence was words purportedly made by the defendant during the offense, not a statement to e.g. law enforcement. This, however was foind to have been forfeited.

7. The trial court’s Krankel hearing was sufficient under the circumstances of this case.

8. the trial court’s sentence of 85% for home invasion was improper.

The case is People v. James

Related Posts
  • Number 10 of Bill Wolf’s “Top Ten” Fourth Amendment Cases for Illinois Lawyers: The Illinois Appellate Court Case of People v. McCavitt. Read More
  • U.S. Supreme Court Holds Defendants Sentenced on Mandatory Minimum Ineligible for Later Sentencing Reductions Based on Reduction in Guidelines Range. Read More
  • Seventh Circuit Orders Limited Remand in Light of United States v. Dean Read More