Ex-Elburn cop pleads guilty to child rape as victim testifies
A former Elburn police officer accused of raping a girl he knew over a 10-year period pleaded guilty Tuesday in the middle of his trial, just as the victim was about 20 minutes into her testimony against him.
David Wright, 54, of Campton Hills, was sentenced to 23 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of criminal sexual assault.
Wright was arrested in spring 2015 and charged with 33 felonies, which carried a minimum prison term of 143 years and a maximum of 648 years.
"Quite frankly, I think 500 years sounds reasonable," an angry Kane County Circuit Judge D.J. Tegeler told Wright as he accepted the plea.
During opening statements Monday, prosecutors recalled the first time Wright raped the girl -- when she was 7 and in a bathroom at a birthday party -- he warned her by saying, "This is gonna hurt."
Tegeler said that phrase is normally said by a parent to comfort a toddler getting a shot at the doctor's office, not as a prelude to sexual assault.
As part of the plea agreement, Wright also gave up his rights to any and all appeals in the case; Tegeler said this was to ensure the victim never had to relive the crime by testifying again.
"You have not done anything but ruin her," Tegeler told Wright. "For you to make her take the witness stand at all, I find reprehensible."
According to prosecutors, Wright sexually assaulted the girl -- now 17 -- beginning in November 2005 and ending in April 2015.
She came forward in spring 2015 while being treated for depression and hid her secret because she was fearful Wright could lose his job if she told, prosecutors said.
Wright's defense attorneys urged jurors to balance their emotions with the facts and evidence in the case, but it never got to that point after Wright changed his mind Tuesday morning.
"He wishes to stop the proceedings and enter into (plea) negotiations with the state," Assistant Public Defender Ron Dolak told the judge.
Wright must serve 85 percent or about 19.5 years in prison. He also gets credit for 478 days served at the Kane County jail. He also must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Under an order of protection, Wright is banned from having any contact with the victim for the next 28 years.
"At this point in time, I believe this is the family's wishes and I think the state is in agreement," said lead prosecutor Deb Bree.