Judge to issue verdict Thursday in Mundelein kidnapping, sexual assault trial
Closing arguments on Friday concluded the trial of Jose Reyes for the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of a 3-year-old Mundelein girl, but the presiding judge said he will rule on the case Thursday.
Following emotional arguments from both prosecutors and defense attorneys, Judge Mark Levitt said he would take time to review the large amount of evidence in the case before issuing a verdict.
Just before the trial started Oct. 18, Reyes, 31, of Chicago, opted for a bench trial in front of Levitt instead of a jury trial.
On Friday afternoon, Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Kalata and Assistant State’s Attorney Fred Day said evidence in the case was “voluminous and overwhelming,” while defense attorney Eric Rinehart said all of the main points of evidence from the state were flawed at some point during the police investigation and prosecution.
Kalata said Jose Reyes “is a sexual predator so brazen that he just snatched her up as if she were an item at the grocery store” while her two sisters looked on, “stunned.”
“He picked her up, tossed her over his shoulder and put her in the car,” Kalata said.
Reyes is charged with aggravated kidnapping, predatory criminal sexual assault, and possession and production of child pornography for the alleged Sept. 30, 2013, kidnapping and sexual assault of the girl, who prosecutors said was taken from in front of the Mundelein apartment complex where her family lived. She was returned to the parking lot of the complex less than an hour later.
Kalata said that while DNA taken from the girl’s shorts matched Reyes’ DNA, and eyewitnesses identified Reyes, it was the defendant himself who provided the strongest evidence by allegedly recording the assault on his cellphone.
“He taped it. The defendant wanted a trophy to relive the experience, her cries of pain,” Kalata said.
Rinehart attacked all aspects of the case against Reyes, including contending that the search and seizure of his cellphone was illegal. In a pretrial motion, the defense argued a motion to suppress the cellphone video, claiming that it was illegally searched by the Lake County state’s attorney’s office, but the motion was denied. Prosecutors said police obtained a search warrant for Reyes’ car and phone prior to entering the car at his former workplace in Libertyville and finding the phone.
Rinehart nevertheless told the judge that he does not believe the recording should be considered as evidence.
He also claimed that the graphic definition of predatory criminal sexual assault was not met by the depiction on the video and that because the state did not include other potential charges that would have been more easily proved by the video, that charge should be dismissed.
Day disagreed with the assessment that the video didn’t depict enough evidence to reach the definition of the charge.
Rinehart also called eyewitness accounts “shaky,” from the testimony of the girl’s sister who was only 9 at the time of the alleged abduction, to the testimony of a mechanic who identified Reyes’ car in a picture but had previously said in a written statement that the car he saw driven by the suspect dropping off the girl after the alleged assault was a Nissan Sentra. Reyes’ car is a Hyundai Accent.
Rinehart acknowledged that the Reyes trial is a “big, big case” and very emotional, and he asked the judge to review the evidence analytically, not emotionally, saying that the laws that protect everyone must be upheld, even if they involve “technicalities.”
“Principles only matter when it’s hard (to apply them),” he said.
The cellphone video was shown Oct. 21 in court, and the apparent assault was seen in brief glimpses before the phone was apparently placed down and the screen went black, but audio continued, and music inside the car and cries from the girl could be heard.
The video, as well as still pictures taken from it, were admitted into evidence.
Also testifying earlier in the trial was Dr. Patrick Dolan, a pediatric emergency room director and sexual assault forensic examiner who examined the girl at Advocate Condell Medical Center on the evening of the alleged assault.
Dolan said he had since viewed the video, and he concluded that the trauma observed on the girl was consistent with actions he saw on the video.
Defense attorney Katharine Hatch argued that Dolan should not be considered an expert witness on the case after viewing the video one time years after the exam and that the injuries mentioned by the doctor could have had numerous other causes.
Reyes faces a sentencing range of 24 to 120 years in prison if convicted.
Kidnapping and Sexual Assault (POST)
4040 unread replies.4040 replies.
Below you will see the California Penal Code definition of Sexual Assault (I only copied the relevant portion for purposes of our discussion). I also posted the definition of Kidnapping
261. (a) Rape is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a
person not the spouse of the perpetrator, under any of the following
(2) Where it is accomplished against a person’s will by means of
force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful
bodily injury on the person or another.
(There is a separate section for the rape of a spouse.)
This is the CA Penal Code section for Kidnapping:
207. (a) Every person who forcibly, or by any other means of
instilling fear, steals or takes, or holds, detains, or arrests any
person in this state, and carries the person into another country,
state, or county, or into another part of the same county, is guilty
(b) Every person, who for the purpose of committing any act
defined in Section 288, hires, persuades, entices, decoys, or seduces
by false promises, misrepresentations, or the like, any child under
the age of 14 years to go out of this country, state, or county, or
into another part of the same county, is guilty of kidnapping.
After reading the relevant law on the subject, read the article in the link below:
(Copy and paste this into your browser)
In our discussion forum this week, you’re going to break the two laws into their
elements. An element of a crime is a piece that must be proven. For example, a first degree
murder is the intentional killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Let’s break that down.
2 Killing of a human being
3. Malice (anger)
4. Premeditation (aka – aforethought).
The prosecutor must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt. If there isn’t proof
beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant premeditated the crime, then it can’t be a 1st
So breaking a crime into it’s elements just means to break down each part of the crime to show
what the prosecutor must prove.
Start by breaking down the crime of sexual assault into elements and then do kidnapping.
Then find at one piece of evidence, or more, that the prosecutor in the article
used to prove each of those elements.
Then discuss how the defense tried to create reasonable doubt as to the elements
of the crime What evidence did they challenge, and why would challenging
that evidence help lead to reasonable doubt?
In your response to another student, I want you to look for evidence that they
mentioned in their post that you didn’t. Comment on the evidence that you found most
important as compared to the
evidence they found important. Make sure to connect the evidence to the elements of the crimes.