Prosecutors want joint trial in Aurora rape case
Kane County prosecutors want a joint trial for two Aurora men accused of raping an intoxicated Joliet woman near Aurora University in August 2012.
Assistant State's Attorney Pam Monaco argued in court papers that Eric Stallworth Jr., 23, and Corderro Pollard, 23, acted together to assault the victim and that the law allows a judge to take into account the effect multiple trials would have on the victim.
"As to each defendant, there is not conflicting defense which is antagonistic to the other such that one defendant is pointing an accusatory finger at the other," Monaco argued in a motion to Judge John Barsanti. "Both defendants admit to having sex with the same victim while in the same room at the same time as each other."
Stallworth and Pollard were arrested in October 2012 and charged with criminal sexual assault, a felony that carries a top prison term of 15 years.
Michael Fleming, the attorney for Pollard, said he is meeting with his client Saturday and will decide then whether to oppose a joint trial.
Kathleen Colton, defense attorney for Stallworth, said she will object to a joint trial for several reasons. One is that a joint trial will unfairly prejudice her client; another is that she won't be ready for trial until spring 2014 while Pollard's case has a tentative trial date of Nov. 4.
Colton also is fighting to have Stallworth's statements to police banned from court, but a hearing on that matter has not been set.
"This is an unusual case because they're alleging the alleged victim was unable to give consent because of her intoxication," Colton said, noting she will present her complete argument to Barsanti Wednesday.
In court documents, Monaco also argues there is no "actual hostility" between Stallworth and Corderro and they took turns assaulting the woman at a rented home in the 1500 block of Kenilworth Drive.
"As part of their joint scheme, defendant (Stallworth) and co-defendant (Corderro) alternated in committing sexual acts upon the alleged victim (who was intoxicated) to trick and confuse her," Monaco wrote in court filings.
Monaco argued that Stallworth assaulted the woman first, then left the room. Pollard then entered the room and assaulted the woman. Stallworth returned, saw what Corderro was doing and "immediately joined in the scheme," according to court documents.
"The defendant then further engaged in more forceful acts ... to deliberately mimic the sexual method of the co-defendant," Monaco argues in court papers.
Stallworth knew the woman from working with her at a downtown Naperville restaurant, and a group of people went out drinking that night, according to police and testimony from previous court hearings.
A third man, Shammrie M. Brown, 26, of Aurora, was initially charged with criminal sexual assault as well. But prosecutors later reduced the charge to misdemeanor battery. Brown is due in court Dec. 5 and faces up to a year in jail if convicted. His attorney has refused to comment on the case.