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posted: 3/12/2012 5:48 PM

Trial date set for toddler beating at St. Charles hotel

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  • Cathleen Koch

    Cathleen Koch

  • James Cooper

    James Cooper


A July 16 trial date has been set for Cathleen Koch, who is accused of covering for her boyfriend, who faces his own charges of severely beating Koch's toddler in a St. Charles hotel room.

Koch, 30, of Elgin, faces six to 30 years in prison if convicted of aggravated battery to a child.

Authorities say she is legally responsible for the actions of James C. Cooper, 29, of Elburn, who is accused of beating Molly Koch, now 3 and in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services.

Koch, who was not accused of striking her daughter, has requested a jury trial and Judge Timothy Sheldon will preside, according to court records.

Koch also faces charges of lying to St. Charles police and obstructing in the investigation into what happened Oct. 29, 2010, at the Super 8 Motel, 1520 E. Main St.

Koch sought to have her statements to police made after Molly's beating disallowed in court, but Sheldon refused.

At the time, Koch's defense attorney, Liz Lovig, argued that her client was being sworn at and intimidated by St. Charles police.

In audio recordings, Koch changed her story several times, at first saying her daughter simply fell down, then was beaten while Koch was outside the hotel room having a cigarette and, finally, that Cooper held Koch down while he hit the toddler.

Cooper is due in court March 30 and also is trying to have his statements to police banned from court. He has argued he was going through heroin withdrawal when being questioned and didn't understand his Miranda rights because he only had a sixth-grade education.

Cooper also faces up to 30 years; a trial date for him has not been set.

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