People v. WardAnnotate this Case
In defendant's trial for criminal sexual assault, the circuit court admitted evidence that defendant had also been involved in criminal sexual assault of another woman. The court cited the Code of Criminal Procedure, 725 ILCS 5/115–7.3, permitting the evidence to show a defendant’s propensity to commit sex crimes. When defendant sought to admission of evidence of his acquittal in the prior case, the court rejected his request. Defendant was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. The appellate court affirmed. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed and remanded. The statutory language permits admission of both evidence of defendant’s commission of another enumerated offense and evidence to rebut that proof or an inference from that proof. Exclusion of the acquittal evidence limited the jury’s ability to assess testimony from the victim in the earlier case and was very prejudicial to the defendant.