Is Establishing Identity and Modus Operandi by Admission of Testimony and Other Crimes Evidence Allowed ?

In People v. Tipton, 207 Ill. App. 3d 688, 695, 566 N.E.2d 352, 359, 152 Ill. Dec. 665 (1990), defendant was prosecuted for aggravated sexual assault and armed robbery. Evidence presented at trial showed that on September 27, 1986, at approximately 11 p.m., defendant approached the victim from behind as she was walking westbound on Cornelia near the Ravenswood "el" stop. the defendant raised his hand displaying a meat cleaver. Defendant said, "'don't say anything or I'll cut your head off.'" Holding the meat cleaver to the victim's neck, defendant walked the victim to a nearby empty lot where defendant demanded the money from the victim's purse. The victim gave the defendant $ 5 that she had in her pocket. The defendant then ordered the victim to stand up, and again holding the meat cleaver to her neck, walked her down an alley between two garages. Once at the garages, defendant removed all of the victim's clothing and ordered her to perform various sexual acts. The victim gave a description of the offender to the police and later identified the defendant in a police lineup. Tipton, 207 Ill. App. 3d at 691-92, 566 N.E.2d at 356. At trial, the State introduced evidence of the prior armed robbery of Penman to establish modus operandi and identity. Penman testified that she was in the vestibule of her apartment at 737 West Cornelia on September 27, 1986, between 11:30 and 11:45 p.m., when she heard a voice behind her say, " 'give me your purse or I'll cut your head off.'" Penman turned and saw a man whom she later identified as defendant and tossed him her purse. She saw that defendant was carrying a meat cleaver in his hand. Tipton, 207 Ill. App. 3d at 692-93, 566 N.E.2d at 357. The Court found that the trial court properly admitted the testimony of Penman as other crimes evidence to establish modus operandi and identity. Tipton, 207 Ill. App. 3d at 696. 566 N.E.2d at 358.