Supreme Court Summaries
Opinions filed January 21, 2011
No. 108778 People v. Gonzalez
Appellate citation: 392 Ill. App. 3d 323.
CHIEF JUSTICE KILBRIDE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Justices Freeman, Thomas, Garman, Karmeier, Burke, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion.
In 2006, the parents of a three-week-old infant had their baby girl with them in a waiting room at Stroger Hospital when this defendant approached them and asked about the child. When the mother left and the father had to stand in line for paperwork, the defendant offered to hold the baby. Then she disappeared. She was arrested shortly thereafter at nearby Rush Medical Center, still holding the baby. It was wrapped in new items she had purchased.
A Cook County jury convicted Gonzalez of aggravated kidnapping, but the appellate court reversed, finding that, because the defendant moved through public areas while she absconded with the baby, the offense element of secret confinement had not been proved.
In this decision, the Supreme Court reversed the appellate court and construed the undefined statutory element of secret confinement. Here, while the defendant passed the baby off as hers in public view, the victim was, nevertheless, isolated from meaningful contact with the public. Enclosure is not required for secret confinement. The conviction was affirmed.
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