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updated: 2/28/2014 4:15 PM

Guilty verdict in Woodstock Craigslist rape trial

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  • Charles Oliver

      Charles Oliver

 
 

A jury Friday convicted a Woodstock man of raping a woman he met on Craigslist who he agreed to pay $200 for sex in 2012.

McHenry County prosecutors argued at trial that Charles Oliver, 45, pushed the naked woman to the floor in his locked basement laundry room on Nov. 6, 2012, before videotaping them having sex in his bedroom.

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The jury deliberated a little over three hours before reaching its decision; Oliver did not show any overt reaction when the verdict was read.

"It was obvious that what he did was wrong and illegal," Assistant State's Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein said afterward.

Oliver faces up to 33 years in prison. A sentencing date will be set when Oliver appears in court March 10 before Judge Sharon Prather.

Played this week for the jury of eight men and four women, the 12-minute video shows the woman whimpering and doing whatever Oliver told her because she was defenseless and scared Oliver would harm her, prosecutors argued.

"She was so terrified that she thought the only way to leave that room was to do exactly what the defendant told her to do," Assistant State's Attorney Kate Lenhard said in her closing argument.

"She was broken in that laundry room," Lenhard continued. "The laundry room is where the fear happens. The laundry room is where the withdrawal of consent (to have sex) happens. There's one word to describe what happened in the defendant's bedroom, his basement, and that is rape."

Oliver eventually took the 22-year-old Chicago woman back to a Rosemont train station, but not before taking a picture of her driver's license.

The woman went to authorities the next day, but Oliver was not arrested until January 2013 after he had a Huntley woman come to his house for sex for money.

The woman testified that she, too, was threatened in his basement. She said she purposefully scratched his penis during sex and eventually escaped, leading police to search his home where they found a collection of videos.

Overall, Oliver is accused of assaulting eight women, but his defense attorneys want separate trials for each. The second trial is March 31.

Defense attorney Mark Facchini argued that the sex with the Chicago woman was consensual.

Facchini questioned why the woman didn't give Chicago police all the information she had about Oliver, and why her testimony on Tuesday had more details and were inconsistent with previous statements to police.

Facchini said the tape shows the sex was consensual, she was an "active participant," and the woman was nervous because it was her first time having sex for money.

"Just because you have a change of heart the next day, it doesn't make it sexual assault," Facchini said. "This wasn't a casual hookup. This was a business transaction. She wasn't there to enjoy the sex. She wasn't there to make friends."

Facchini also pointed out that the woman from Huntley also lied to the police and investigators on numerous occasions.

After the verdict, Facchini declined to comment on what, if anything, Oliver said after the verdict and said he was preparing for the next trial.

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