Prosecutors have downgraded charges against one of three Aurora men accused of a sexual assault of a 25-year-old Joliet woman in August 2012.
Kane County prosecutors last month dismissed felony criminal sexual assault charges against Shammrie M. Brown, 25, of the 600 block of South Ohio Street. He now stands charged with misdemeanor battery in connection with the crime.
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If convicted of the more serious charge, he could have faced anywhere from four to 15 years in prison. He now faces up to a year in jail on the misdemeanor.
Authorities didn't accuse Brown of having sex with the woman, whom police say was intoxicated and therefore could not give consent; he was accused of not stopping two other men from committing the assault, which authorities say took place at a home near Aurora University after the four went out drinking in Naperville.
Brown's defense attorney, Fred Morelli, declined to comment.
The Kane County State's Attorney's office said the moves were "appropriate."
Two other men, Corderro A. Pollard and Eric Stallworth, both 22 and of the 1500 block of Kenilworth Place, are still facing numerous charges of criminal sexual assault and are due in court on Jan. 18.
If convicted, they face between six and 30 years in prison.
The three men were initially charged in October; the woman had sought medical attention in August and hospital officials alerted authorities, who began investigating.
Police said the four went out drinking in Naperville on Aug. 11. The woman became extremely intoxicated, and she was assaulted when they all returned to the Aurora home of Pollard and Stallworth.
Benjamin Smith, attorney for Stallworth, said the dropped charges against Brown shows that the state's case against Stallworth is weak.
Smith said the woman told her best friend that she wanted to sleep with Stallworth and that the sex was consensual.
Smith said the woman was able to walk, voluntarily left with Stallworth and had second thoughts about the night after she was confronted by her boyfriend.
"(Dropping the charge against Brown) shows that state's case is somewhat weakened because they rushed to judgment by going to the grand jury," Smith said. "She came to the residence on her own accord and participated willingly. She knew what she was doing."
A message left with Michael Fleming, defense attorney for Pollard, was not returned.
In the fall, when the trio were charged, police also asked other possible victims to come forward.
"It's still an active and ongoing case by us," said Aurora Lt. Pete Inda. "We are still looking for possibly more victims of this incident. Our detective has not yet closed this case out."
Brown is due in court on the battery charge on Jan. 15.