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Prospect Heights man guilty on sex count with child
By Barbara Vitello | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 10/15/2008 12:04 AM

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A Rolling Meadows jury got a crash course in Illinois statutes pertaining to sexual assault and sexual abuse last week during assistant state's attorney Shari Chandra's closing statements in the case of the People of the State of Illinois vs. Charles Dobson.

Jury members listened attentively while the prosecutor defined for them what constitutes criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse in this state. Several hours later, the jury found Dobson, of the 700 block of Glendale in Prospect Heights, guilty on two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in a 2007 case that involved a 6-year-old. Sexual intercourse did not occur, but prosecutors pointed out that Illinois statute does not require intercourse to have taken place for a jury to find the defendant guilty.

Chandra and fellow prosecutor Karen Crothers repeatedly praised the victim's courage.

"The 7-year-old victim got up in front of 14 strangers and told you in a natural, credible way with painstaking details what that man ... did," said Chandra, who described the victim's testimony as credible and compelling.

In his closing statement, defense attorney Vincent Solano acknowledged the "ugly charge" leveled against his client, calling it cringe inducing. Insisting that his client had been the subject of a frame-up, Solano stated that the prosecution presented no medical evidence corroborating a claim of sexual abuse, he said details were inconsistent and did not "match up with what the state claims."

In her impassioned rebuttal, Crothers dismissed the defense argument of a frame-up and claims that the victim had "advanced sexual knowledge."

Six-year-olds have no knowledge of such things, she said. "These are things adults don't want to talk about."

Dobson can receive probation or three to seven years in prison when he's sentenced Nov. 19. In a related matter, prosecutors have filed charges of predatory criminal sexual assault against him resulting from a 2008 incident.