Judge upholds arrest in Aurora gang rape case
A Kane County judge Tuesday upheld a warrantless arrest of a one of three men accused of a gang rape of a drunken Joliet woman near Aurora University in August 2012.
The move by Eric Stallworth Jr., 22, of Aurora, to have his arrest quashed and the sexual assault charges essentially thrown out was a long shot, but it provided a glimpse as to the defense strategy should the case eventually proceed to trial.
Stallworth and two other men were accused of sexually assaulting the woman at a home in the 1500 block of Kenilworth Drive in Aurora after a night of drinking in Naperville and at the Hollywood Casino the night and early morning of Aug. 10 and 11.
Defense attorney Kathleen Colton attacked the credibility of the Joliet woman, who was then 25 and worked at a Naperville restaurant with Stallworth.
Colton noted the woman didn't report anything until Aug. 15, 2012, when she went to a hospital. The woman told doctors at first she didn't know who attacked her and that she resisted, but later told police Stallworth had sex with her without her consent.
The woman admitted to being extremely intoxicated -- she had a bottle of wine and a Xanax that night -- and could not identify the house where the alleged assault occurred even when police drove her by the house, Aurora Police Detective Andrew Wolcott said.
"She specifically told us she never intended to have sex, never consented to having sex with anyone," Wolcott said.
Colton also noted that the woman's friend told police the woman said she wanted to have sex with Stallworth that night even though she had a boyfriend. No DNA evidence was collected between Aug. 15, 2012, and Oct. 2, 2012, when Stallworth was arrested as he walked to a finance class.
"(The police) didn't have anything. They had a 'He said, she said' situation," Colton argued.
Kane County Judge Karen Simpson upheld the arrest, saying police had an "ample basis" to establish probable cause and make the arrest.
Two other men were initially charged with felony sexual assault. But prosecutors in January reduced the felony charges to a misdemeanor battery charge against Shammrie Brown, 26, of Aurora. He is due in court Sept. 26 and faces up to a year in jail if found guilty.
Corderro Pollard, 23, of Aurora, also is charged with sexual assault and his trial is tentatively set for Nov. 21.
Stallworth also is trying to have his statements to police after his arrest disallowed in court. Simpson is set to consider that motion Oct. 22.
If convicted of the most serious charges, both Stallworth and Pollard face up to 15 years in prison.