Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Official Pleads Innocent of Rape Madison County May Look for Outsider to Prosecute Alderman

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Official Pleads Innocent of Rape Madison County May Look for Outsider to Prosecute Alderman

Article excerpt

Anthony Stassi, an alderman in Wood River and a leader in the Madison County Democratic Party, pleaded innocent of a rape charge Monday. Meanwhile, the county prosecutor said he may seek an outside prosecutor in the case.

Stassi, 48, had no comment after he was arraigned on a charge of aggravated criminal sexual assault. The charge alleges that he abducted a woman, 19, from a street in Alton in May and drove her to an isolated area, where he raped her.

Stassi, a member of the City Council for six years, took a leave of absence from those duties Nov. 22, the day after he was arrested on a suppressed indictment by a county grand jury. He remains free on $150,000 bond. State's Attorney William R. Haine said Monday that he was deciding whether to step aside because of politics. Although Haine is a Democrat and Stassi is a member of the party's executive committee, Haine said he did not know Stassi well. But Haine said he may decide to ask Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan to send in a prosecutor, or may ask a judge to appoint a special prosecutor. …

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