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updated: 8/16/2012 4:12 PM

No bail for Naperville man granted new child molestation trial

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  • Grant Gambaiani

      Grant Gambaiani

 

A judge denied bail Thursday for a former Naperville man who won a new trial on child molestation charges that had resulted in a 43-year prison sentence.

Grant Gambaiani, 29, will remain in the DuPage County jail after Judge Daniel Guerin found he could pose a "real and present threat" to the public.

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Gambaiani had petitioned the judge for release after the Second District Appellate Court in Elgin overturned his conviction for predatory criminal sexual assault and other charges related to the molestation of a preteen boy.

On Thursday, Guerin said that although Gambaiani was granted bail before his May 2010 conviction, it could not be allowed again in light of the allegations and evidence presented to the jury.

"I'm in a different position, I suppose, after having heard everything presented at trial," the judge said. "It's reasonable to say the defendant very well could pose a real and present threat."

Guerin sentenced Gambaiani to more than four decades behind bars after a jury found him guilty of systematically abusing a 10-year-old boy. The allegations stemmed from a four-month period in 2008 during which Gambaiani was accused of showing the victim child pornography, taking explicit photos and sexually assaulting him.

The appellate court reversed the conviction in June, saying the trial court erred by not granting a mistrial after prosecutors failed to disclose in a timely fashion details about a search of the child's bedroom. Justices said the defense did not learn of the search, which turned up no DNA evidence of sexual activity, until midway through the trial.

Had he been released on bond, Gambaiani would have lived with a former co-worker in Mokena and agreed to wear a tracking device, defense attorney Kevin Halverson said in court. He denied his client posed a threat.

"He was on bond for almost two years without incident," Halverson said.

But prosecutors contended the stakes are higher now that Gambaiani has been to prison and is facing a mandatory return if convicted again.

"He's had a taste and he knows now what he's looking at," Assistant State's Attorney Joe Ruggiero said.

Guerin continued the case to Sept. 17, when the opposing parties said they will either present a plea bargain or set a trial date.

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