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updated: 2/25/2014 5:18 PM

Sexual assault trial begins in Woodstock

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  • Charles Oliver

      Charles Oliver

 
 

The video was shaky and a man's heavy breathing could be heard.

"Open your eyes," the man tells the woman in the video, urging her to look at the camera.

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"You scared? Everything's fine," he says to the woman, who can be heard whimpering before the man puts the camera on a tripod and films them having sex.

A McHenry County jury watched the 12-minute tape Tuesday as part of the trial of 45-year-old Charles Oliver.

The Woodstock man is accused of raping and terrorizing eight women who he met via Craigslist and arranged to have sex with for money.

A 23-year-old Chicago woman testified she agreed to have sex with Oliver for $200 in November 2012, but he threatened her after taking her to a separate room in his basement.

Oliver locked the door and pushed her -- naked -- to the floor saying things were going to be done "his way," she testified.

The woman said she feared for her life and Oliver said even if she escaped, she had nowhere to go.

After five to 10 minutes, Oliver let her out of the room and the two had sex in his bedroom.

"Nothing that happened in that bedroom was consensual," McHenry County Assistant State's Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein told jurors. "Look at her eyes, look at her face. This is not a woman who is enjoying what was happening."

Afterward, the woman went to the bathroom and cried.

"He told me he had done something similar to other people," the woman testified. "He was much stronger than I was. I was afraid that if I continued to resist in any fashion, he would hurt me."

Oliver eventually drove the woman to a train station, but he first made a computer scan of her ID card and said he knew were she lived in case she went to police.

She reported the attack the next day.

Oliver was arrested in January 2013 after authorities said he brought a Huntley woman to his home for sex. The woman escaped from his car afterward and police later searched Oliver's home, finding a video collection from other women he had attacked as well as a computer scan of the 23-year-old Chicago woman's ID card, prosecutors said.

Oliver is accused of sexually assaulting eight women; his defense attorneys want each of the cases tried separately and argued the sex was consensual.

"This is not a person who's been forced to do anything," defense attorney Jeff Altman told jurors, noting the woman answered Oliver's Craigslist ad and performed oral sex during a car ride and once they got to his home.

"This is what they agreed to do. She was going to engage in this conduct in exchange for money."

Oliver is being held on $4 million bail. The trial, presided over by Judge Sharon Prather, is expected to run though the week.

If convicted, Oliver faces up to 30 years in prison on each case.

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