Trial begins for former Elburn cop accused of child rape

Former Elburn police officer David Wright raped and sexually abused a girl he knew for 10 years, beginning in second grade in a bathroom at a birthday party, Kane County prosecutors told jurors to begin Wright's trial.

"He said to her 'This is gonna hurt,' It did hurt. She screamed," Deb Bree, Kane County assistant state's attorney and executive director of the Child Advocacy Center said during opening statements Monday.

Wright, 54, of the 43W800 block of McDonald Road, Campton Hills, was arrested in April 2015 and faces the rest of his life in prison if convicted of 33 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Bree said the victim kept her horrible secret until she was 17 and being treated for depression. Bree said the teen was fearful Wright would lose his job if she came forward, but would testify in detail to what Wright did to her.

"These horrors that happened to her over 10 years time, she will tell you about," Bree said, adding that Wright's wife also would testify that she confronted him when she learned of the allegations. "He admitted it to her. He told her he was sorry. But he said he only did it a couple of times."

Kane County Assistant Public Defender Ron Dolak acknowledged that the charges against his client elicit a strong emotional response. But Dolak stressed that jurors should balance their emotions with physical evidence - or lack thereof - in the case, along with the state's burden to prove Wright guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Dolak noted prosecutors had no DNA evidence, no video of the alleged crimes, and no expert doctor testimony to offer.

"That's where the balance has to come in. You can't go have a knee-jerk reaction," Dolak said, suggesting the teen's accusations were due in part to her feeling neglected by her parents, bullied at school and chaotic home life. "The origins of these allegations come from depression, they come from loneliness, they come from sadness."

Christine Tunney, an Aurora police officer who serves as an investigator for the Kane Child Advocacy Center, testified that the teen's case was referred to the CAC for investigation by the state's Department of Children and Family Services. Tunney said investigators did not perform a "rape kit" to collect DNA and other physical evidence from the teen because it was beyond the 72-hour threshold from the last alleged assault.

The trial presided over by Kane County Circuit Court Judge D.J. Tegeler is expected to finish this week.

Elburn police officer charged with child sexual assault

Former Elburn cop faces life in prison

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