Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
The fact that a statute contains an unconstitutional provision does not render the entire enactment unconstitutional unless it is determined that the legislature would not have enacted the statute without the invalid portion.
Defendant sexually assaulted his wife and was convicted of aggravated, criminal sexual assault. On appeal, defendant claimed that the criminal sexual assault statute, which contained a marital exception, Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 38, par. 12-18(c), violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the federal and state constitutions; that his conviction was reversible error; that the trial court erred in refusing to admit evidence of his wife's prior sexual acts; and that the prosecutor committed reversible error during voir dire.
The court held that the marital exemption violated the equal protection and due process clauses. The court, however, clarified that the fact that a statute contained an unconstitutional provision did not render the entire enactment unconstitutional unless it was determined that that the legislature would not have enacted the statute without the invalid portion. In this case, the court held that the criminal sexual abuse and aggravated criminal sexual abuse statutes served the important interests of protecting the personal bodily integrity of individuals and protecting them from the emotional and physical harm that resulted from sexual assaults. In light of the importance of these interests, the court held that there was no doubt that the legislature would have enacted sections 12-13 through 12-16 of the Code without a marital exemption applicable to sections 12-15(a), and, under certain circumstances, to section 12-16(a). Accordingly, the court concluded that the invalidity of the marital exemption provided in section 12-18(c) when applied to the above provisions did not affect the validity of the criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse or aggravated criminal sexual abuse statutes. Anent the issue on admissibility of evidence, the court held that the trial court did not err by ruling that the proffered evidence was inadmissible because the determinative issue was whether defendant's conduct was deliberate or accidental. The court further held that any error resulting from the prosecutor's questioning during voir dire was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.