The court remanded to afford the circuit court the opportunity to enter a
more reasonable sentence.
(Defendant was represented by Assistant Defender Fletcher Hamill, Elgin.)
People v. Patterson, 2012 IL App (1st) 101573 (No. 1-10-1573, modified op.
The Illinois Rape Shield law (725 ILCS 5/115-7(a)) bars evidence of the prior
sexual history of an alleged sexual assault victim unless: (1) the evidence concerns
the alleged victim’s prior consensual conduct with the defendant and is offered to
show consent, or (2) the constitution requires that the evidence be admitted. Due
process requires that evidence of the victim’s sexual history be admitted where
such evidence is relevant to a critical aspect of the defense. Thus, evidence of the
alleged victim’s sexual history is admissible to explain physical evidence such as
semen, pregnancy, or physical indications of intercourse.
At defendant’s trial for aggravated criminal sexual assault, a doctor who
examined the complainant after the alleged offense testified that the redness of her
cervix indicated that she had recently had intercourse. The prosecution used the
doctor’s statement to support the inference that defendant had forcible
intercourse with the complainant. The trial court held that the rape shield law
prevented the defense from showing that the complainant had sexual intercourse
with her boyfriend a few days before the alleged offense and that a vaginal swab
contained the boyfriend’s DNA.
The Appellate Court concluded that such evidence should have been
admitted because it supplied a plausible alternative source of the State’s physical
evidence and as a matter of due process qualified for the constitutional exception
provision to the rape shield statute. Thus, if on retrial the State attempts to
introduce evidence of the complainant’s physical condition to show that she had
intercourse within a day or two of the medical examination, the defense must be
permitted to introduce evidence that she had intercourse with her boyfriend and
that his semen remained in her vagina at the time of the examination.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.