People v. Watts

2022 IL App (1st) 211551-U SECOND DIVISION September 27, 2022 No. 1-21-1551 NOTICE: This order was filed under Supreme Court Rule 23 and may not be cited as precedent by any party except in the limited circumstances allowed under Rule 23(e)(1). ______________________________________________________________________________ IN THE APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT ______________________________________________________________________________ THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, ) Appeal from the ) Circuit Court of Plaintiff-Appellee, ) Cook County. ) v. ) No. 10 CR 5342 ) GEORGE WATTS, ) Honorable ) Kenneth J. Wadas, Defendant-Appellant. ) Judge Presiding. ______________________________________________________________________________ JUSTICE HOWSE delivered the judgment of the court. Presiding Justice Fitzgerald Smith and Justice Ellis concurred in the judgment. ORDER ¶1 Held: We affirm the judgment of the circuit court of Cook County denying defendant’s petition for postconviction relief; defendant failed to establish his actual innocence of criminal sexual assault based on the victim’s subsequent affidavit denying sexual penetration of her anus; the trial court properly found that the victim’s subsequent testimony regarding the sexual contact between herself and defendant was not credible. ¶2 Defendant, George Watts, filed a petition for postconviction relief from his conviction for the criminal sexual assault of his daughter, O.W., then a minor, based on sexual penetration of her anus. Defendant argued he was actually innocent of the offense based on O.W.’s current affidavit stating that defendant’s naked penis never made any contact with her naked anus and that the two never had sex of any kind. The circuit court of Cook County convicted defendant of the offense at issue as well as criminal sexual assault of O.W. based on sexual penetration of her 1-21-1551 vagina and two additional counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Defendant’s petition did not raise any claims related to the counts other than criminal sexual assault based on sexual penetration of the anus. The trial court denied defendant’s petition following a third stage evidentiary hearing based on the trial judge’s finding that O.W.’s postconviction testimony was not credible. ¶3 For the following reasons, we affirm. ¶4 BACKGROUND ¶5 We discussed the evidence leading to defendant’s conviction in our disposition of defendant’s direct appeal. People v. Watts, 2014 IL App (1st) 122564-U. Here, we provide only the limited amount of detail from defendant’s trial that is necessary for a full understanding of the resolution of the instant appeal. Following a jury trial, the circuit court of Cook County convicted defendant of two counts of criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against O.W., a minor. O.W., born November 30, 1993, is defendant’s daughter. In 2008, when O.W. was 14 years old, defendant lived in a residence with O.W. and her mother. The assaults occurred between 2008 and 2010. The mechanism of the assault was that defendant would drive O.W.’s mother to work in the mornings, return home, and sexually assault O.W. Early on, defendant would engage in “grinding” O.W.’s buttocks over her clothing with his erect penis. This progressed to defendant pulling down O.W.’s pants …

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