Child Sexual Abuse Suspect's Retrial Gets Underway Trial: Doctor's Testimony Dominates First Day
Byline: Barbara Vitello Legal Affairs Writer firstname.lastname@example.org -CLMN-
The retrial of a 29-year-old Palatine man charged with sexually abusing a child began Tuesday in Rolling Meadows with Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Mike Clarke reminding jurors in his opening statement of the vulnerability of children.
He also reminded the jury how easily the people charged with protecting young people can manipulate them for their own sexual gratification.
Clarke referred to Baldomero Garcia, accused of sexually abusing a then-nearly 5-year-old child of his then-girlfriend over the course of two months in early 2008. This marks the second trial for Garcia, of the 1500 block of Norway Lane. In April, Cook County Circuit Court Judge John Scotillo granted the defense's motion for a mistrial after jury members declared themselves hopelessly deadlocked.
Garcia's co-defendant, the child's mother, was acquitted of similar charges earlier this year after a bench trial before Scotillo.
While acknowledging that during the mother's trial the child retracted the allegations against her, Clarke insisted that was no reason not to believe the child's testimony regarding Garcia, which Clarke called unequivocal.
In his opening statement, Cook County Assistant Public Defender Larry Kugler called the investigation a rush to judgment by law enforcement.
The evidence is flawed, said Kugler, adding that an exam of the child showed no evidence of sexual abuse. …