Eight jurors were selected Monday in the trial of a Woodstock man who is accused of raping women he met through Craigslist, according to the prosecutor's office.
The trial in McHenry County, anticipated to last through the week, is the first of eight expected trials for 45-year-old Charles R. Oliver. Jury selection is to continue Tuesday.
Oliver is accused of raping women, many of them prostitutes, who responded to his online ads for sex, for several months beginning in late 2011. Originally arrested in January 2013, authorities have added charges as they have found other women who allege that he attacked them in his home.
According to The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald, prosecutors contend Oliver prevented the women from leaving his home, beat them and then threatened them so they wouldn't report what happened. They allege that he tied a woman up in at least one case.
Prosecutors said he tried to intimidate the women by taking down their personal information and telling them he had ties to law enforcement. They said in one case, he threatened a woman's mother on Facebook.
Oliver's attorney, Mark Facchini, has said that videotapes of many of the incidents, which are expected to be shown to the jury, do not show Oliver forcing, threatening or harming any women. He also said the women do not have injuries that would corroborate what they told police.
Oliver has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, unlawful restraint and harassment in the various cases and is being held in McHenry County jail in lieu of $4 million bond.