Police: Mom charged in St. Charles hotel beating admits she lied

Updated 9/6/2011 5:33 PM
  • Cathleen Koch

    Cathleen Koch

  • James Cooper

    James Cooper

With her nearly 2-year-old daughter, Molly, clinging to life, Cathleen Koch was afraid her boyfriend would do that same thing to her.

"He said he would come after me. That's why I lied this morning," Koch tells St. Charles police on a taped interview from Oct. 27, 2010.

Koch, 29, of Plano, faces aggravated battery charges, along with multiple counts of obstructing justice and endangering the life of a child stemming from an attack at a St. Charles hotel.

James C. Cooper, 28, of Elburn is accused of beating the toddler and faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Authorities argue that Koch is just as responsible for the injuries to Molly, who will be 3 in November and is in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services. Koch also faces up to 30 years in prison.

Defense attorney Liz Lovig is trying to have Koch's statements to police thrown out of court. She argues that her client was coerced, intimidated and not read her Miranda rights until her third interview with police.

In the first interview, after two hours of denying that she saw or heard Cooper beating the child, Koch says Cooper locked her in the hotel bathroom and proceeded to beat Molly the morning of Oct. 27, 2010.

"I turned off the fan so I could hear," she said.

But in a Nov. 2, 2010, taped interview -- the first time she was read her rights -- Koch tells police she argued with Cooper that morning and he hit her, threw her on the bed and used his knee to hold her down while he beat Molly.

"I did not see everything he did to Molly. I know he was smacking her and he punched her in the head," Koch told police on the tape.

On Monday, Kane County Judge Timothy Sheldon is tentatively scheduled to listen to a two-hour statement from Nov. 22, 2010, statement that Koch gave police.

Koch initially called police after Molly was beaten and had stopped breathing on Oct. 27, 2010. Koch originally told police that Molly fell but changed or added to her story at least five times, according to interview tapes.