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Man Accused of Molesting Elderly Woman Might Face Her in Court

Also, a murder defendant says his confession was forced, an arrest of a key witness looms in a Tinley Park animal cruelty case and other news from the courthouse.

The Southland's major criminal and civil cases heard in Cook County and Will County courts this week.

Cook County

OAK LAWN —Ed Baron, an attorney for Michael T. Kelly, requested another court date for June 29 in which, after months of tossing around the term, he and the state may finally settle on a plea deal. A former Village of Oak Lawn employee, Kelly was accused last year of beating and choking a girl on her bicycle.

ORLAND PARK — Robert Phelan returns to Judge Colleen Hyland’s courtroom on July 24, exactly one year after his arrest for the alleged sexual molestation of a 93-year-old female dementia patient. On that date, assistant state’s attorney Mary Louise Norwell plans to argue in favor of using the woman’s secondhand testimony as evidence rather than put her on the stand at trial. According to Illinois law, a jury has the right to weigh statements of hearsay so long as a judge is assured in advance that the witness would be unable to show in court, and that the testimony would be reliable.

Defense attorney Howard Wise said he was waiting on lab work to conclude before filing a motion of his own arguing that his client was improperly arrested.

PALOS — Judge John J. Hynes continued pretrial hearings for Joseph Campione to July 13. Campione turned himself over to police in December after convenience store footage of a man stealing a donation jar was released to the press. The money, though never returned, had been intended to help pay the medical bills for a 27-year-old cancer patient.

TINLEY PARK —

Dazzle's Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary was raided last year partly on the word of a Cook County investigator who is now under federal indictment for extortion. He has also been named in federal civil rights lawsuits.

Will County

NEW LENOXThe Will County Public Defender’s Office said attorneys need several more weeks to determine whether Tom Rohrbach is mentally fit for trial. Police accused Rohrbach, 46, of making repeated gun threats against Lincoln-Way High School District 210 and his neighbors, by telephone, between March 6 and April 30. Insight into the condition of Rohrbach’s mind could be revealed when attorneys return to court on July 3.

NEW LENOX —

Rodney Julun was charged last year with the murder and robbery of Dwight Jones in New Lenox Township. At a hearing Friday, police said the interrogation was by the books.

On the Docket Next Week

MONDAY

Michael Albanese, a registered child sex offender accused of coaching children in a public park

William Jenkins, a residential burglary defendant whose search allegedly caused a Frankfort area lock down

TUESDAY

Trial begins in Bridgeview for two men accused of a hate crime

Scheduled separately in Joliet are a man accused of driving to Tinley Park to have sex with a minor and a man accused of having sex with a Mokena minor

THURSDAY

Joseph Bozen, charged with indecent solicitation of a minor and grooming

FRIDAY

Kevin Skaritka, charged with sexual abuse

 

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