place or in a manner which makes it unlikely that members of the
public will know or learn of the victim’s unwilling confinement within
a reasonable period of time.” 3 Wayne R. LaFave, Substantive
Criminal Law §18.1(c), at 17 (2d ed. 2003). Thus, secret confinement
can be shown through evidence that the defendant isolated the victim
from meaningful contact with the public.
Here, the State’s evidence showed that defendant was unable to
have children because of a tubal ligation. Nevertheless, defendant
desired additional children. Defendant told her husband, Javier, and
family that she was pregnant, but Javier did not believe her.
Eventually, defendant told Javier that she had given birth to a baby
girl, but would not tell Javier the location of the hospital.
The same day that defendant told Javier she gave birth to a baby
girl, defendant was with Joel, Mirabel, and their infant daughter in the
waiting room of Fantus Clinic. While the baby was alone with Joel,
defendant offered to hold the baby so Joel could complete paperwork.
Joel agreed and gave the baby to defendant.
When Joel finished, defendant and the baby were gone. Joel and
Mirabel notified law enforcement officials and searched unsuccessfully
for their baby. Approximately 15 minutes later, however, defendant
was apprehended with Joel and Mirabel’s baby at nearby Rush
University Medical Center.
Reviewing this evidence in the light most favorable to the State,
we conclude that a trier of fact could reasonably find that defendant’s
conduct isolated the baby from meaningful contact with the public.
The baby was unable to escape, cry out, or call attention to her plight.
The evidence also suggested that defendant took the baby without the
parents’ permission or knowledge and sought to pass the baby off as
her own, unbeknownst to anyone who saw defendant with the baby.
Consequently, defendant’s actions isolated the baby from the public
even though defendant kept the baby in public view.
We reject defendant’s argument that secret confinement exists
only when a victim is clearly confined within a physical structure,
usually a house or a vehicle. Significantly, this court has determined
that “[c]onfinement includes, but is not limited to, enclosure within
something, most commonly a structure or an automobile.” (Emphasis
added.) Siguenza-Brito, 235 Ill. 2d at 227. Moreover, the term
“confinement” is broader than defendant claims. It encompasses the
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