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Judge upholds charge in videotaping case
By Charles Keeshan | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/24/2007 5:56 PM

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Rejecting claims of prosecutorial misconduct, a McHenry County judge Friday upheld the indictment of a Cary teen accused with two friends of videotaping a sexual encounter one of them had with an unknowing female classmate.

The decision moves 17-year-old Stefen Mueller a step closer to trial on the felony eavesdropping charge stemming from the Jan. 6 incident.

Mueller's lawyer argued Friday that the charge should be dismissed because, he said, an assistant McHenry County state's attorney had made inappropriate remarks before a grand jury.

The claim stemmed from grand jury transcripts in which the prosecutor told jurors Mueller was "accountable" for the taping even if not present when it occurred.

"He was giving testimony himself, which is beyond the scope of what he was supposed to be doing," defense attorney David Borenstein said. "At that point, did the jury really have a chance to decide whether a crime occurred?"

Judge Sharon Prather sided with county prosecutors, who said the assistant state's attorney simply was explaining the law.

"The state did not engage in any prosecutorial misconduct in answering a question from a juror," she said.

The eavesdropping charges against Mueller and his co-defendants allege they set up a hidden video camera in one of the teen's bedrooms to capture a later encounter between one of them and a 17-year-old girl.

Co-defendants Vincent M. Witten, 17, and Nicholas B. Parfitt, 17, both of Cary, are scheduled to appear in court Sept. 19 for pretrial status hearings. All three teens are free on $750 bond.