People v. Johnson, 2016 IL App (4th) 150004 (April). Episode 172 (Duration 7:05)
Defendant is convicted on two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault based on the child’s testimony and her 115-10 statement.
The child testified that her father licked his fingers and inserted them into her private part.
In the recorded statement she also said that he put his private part in her private part, but on the stand she only testified to the digital penetration.
The 115-10 statement is substantive so defendant was properly convicted on both counts.
In Crawford, the Court dispensed with the “amorphous notions of ‘reliability’ ” that governed the Roberts Court’s confrontation clause analysis.
Instead, the Court held that, regardless of a statement’s reliability, the confrontation clause bars the admission of any out-of-court statement that is “testimonial,” unless (1) the statement’s declarant is unavailable and (2) the defendant was afforded a prior opportunity for cross examination.
Therefore any case law before Crawford suggesting that 115-10 statements need to be narrowly construed are now rejected.
The Illinois Statute
Section 115-10 requires the trial court to “find” that “the time, content, and circumstances of the statement provide sufficient safeguards of reliability.” 725 ILCS 5/115- 10(b)(1).
The statute does not require that those findings be made in writing, nor does it require those findings to contain any specific level of detail.
The court merely tracked the language of the statute and that was found to be sufficient.
The court’s unsupported conclusion that the child’s statement was “reliable” met the constitutional standard under Crawford. Court need not give its reasoning in written form.