A former suburban Chicago man has been found guilty for a second time of sexual assaultof a child in his family. He was tried a second time because of issues in the original trial.
DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin expressed satisfaction with the jury's decision. He noted that the defendant had violated not only the trust of the 10-year-old boy he assaulted, but of his family, who had trusted him with the child.
The 30-year-old man, who used to live in Naperville, was originally convicted of sexually assaulting and taking lewd photos of the boy in 2008. The assaults and other activity allegedly occurred in multiple locations, including on a family trip to Ohio. He was found guilty in 2010, and sentenced to 43 years in prison.
In 2012, however, an appeals court ruled that because evidence that had not been previously disclosed was revealed during his original trial, the jury's view of the defendant was negatively impacted. It was not reported precisely what that evidence was.
According to the Chicago ABC affiliate, the jury in the retrial deliberated for less than four hours before finding the defendant guilty of a total of 22 charges. The counts include aggravated criminal sexual abuse and predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. The defendant was also convicted of multiple charges related to child pornography, including a count of manufacturing child pornography.
This case provides a good example of how the justice system is designed to err on the side of protecting the rights of the accused. This defendant was given a new trial to ensure that his rights were protected. However, obviously the evidence that he was indeed guilty of sexual abuse was strong enough to convict him. Even though it was no doubt difficult for the victim and his family to go through yet another trial, at least they can now rest assured that this man will be behind bars for a very long time.
Chicago Tribune, "Naperville man found guilty in sexual abuse retrial" Clifford Ward, Oct. 08, 2013