A judge increased bail Tuesday to $3 million for a Woodstock man accused of sexually assaulting five women prostitutes he met using Craigslist.
McHenry County prosecutors had asked that Charles Oliver, 44, of the 400 block of West Greenwood Avenue, be held without bail while the cases were pending because of the severity of the charges, as well as allegations he harassed a relative of one of his accusers.
Oliver had been free after posting $45,000 of a $450,000 bail from a January arrest. He was arrested a second time Feb. 24 and sent to Cook County jail after more women came forward.
Assistant State's Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein said Oliver faces between 95 and 120 years in prison if convicted, thus giving him incentive to flee if he posts bail.
"The defendant is an extreme danger to the community and society," said Eisenstein, adding that the investigation is ongoing and victims have painted a disturbing pattern for police.
Eisenstein outlined the pattern this way: Oliver would find an escort or prostitute using Craigslist and invite her to his Woodstock home. Once there, he would take her to the basement, lock the door and either threaten each woman or rough her up while he explained the "rules." Then he would bring her to his bedroom and sexually assault her while recording it. Some women were bound by plastic zip ties.
Eisenstein said Oliver would then make a copy of the woman's driver's license, glean some personal information from her cellphone and use this information for blackmail or as a threat not to tell authorities.
"Now that I know where you live, you can't go to the police because I'm going to come after you," Eisenstein said Oliver would tell his victims.
Oliver also would show the victims his gun and rifle collection.
Eisenstein said Woodstock police executed a search warrant at Oliver's home, seizing guns, several cameras and "multiple stacks" of DVDs and recordings of Oliver's sexual encounters.
"Many of them do not appear to be consensual," said Eisenstein, adding that as many as 20 other women may be victims.
Defense attorney Mark Facchini argued against revoking bail. Facchini said Oliver was at every court appearance, including last Friday when prosecutors indicated they wanted to revoke Oliver's bail. Facchini said other remedies are available to ensure public safety, such as placing Oliver on electronic home monitoring or a curfew should be post bail.
Facchini said one of the women gave inconsistent statements and had a relationship with Oliver but was upset he was seeing other people.
Judge Sharon Prather set bail at $3 million, and Oliver can post $300,000 in order to be free while the cases are pending. He is next due in court April 12 in Woodstock.