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Wauconda woman's plea deal sticks despite legal double-cross
By Tony Gordon | Daily Herald Staff

Tiffany Horak


Carl Horak


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Published: 4/8/2009 5:05 PM

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A Lake County judge on Wednesday refused to throw out a Wauconda woman's plea agreement, even though her testimony at her husband's trial differed greatly from what she told prosecutor's she would provide.

Tiffany Horak, 27, will continue serving the 14-year sentence imposed under the agreement despite the double-cross, Circuit Judge Fred Foreman said.

Horak and her husband, Carl Horak, were charged with repeatedly molesting an 8-year-old girl between fall 2007 and their arrest in January, 2008.

Tiffany pleaded guilty last July in exchange for the 14 years, and gave prosecutors a statement detailing her husband's activities with the girl.

However, when called to testify at Carl Horak's trial in January, Tiffany Horak at first claimed she could not remember the attacks detailed in the statement and then said they did not occur.

A jury convicted Carl Horak despite his wife's testimony, and he faces 78 to 120 years in prison when sentenced April 30.

Assistant State's Attorney Ari Fisz claimed Tiffany Horak had violated the agreement by going back on her statements and should be forced to stand trial herself.

"There was an agreement, and Ms. Horak received the benefit of that agreement," Fisz said. "Then she failed to live up to her end of the agreement."

But Assistant Public Defender Karen Levi argued Foreman no longer had jurisdiction over Tiffany Horak's case because more than 30 days had passed since the agreement was accepted and the sentence imposed.

"And the purpose of her testimony was to convict Carl, which happened," Levi told Foreman. "Looking at the entire picture, justice was served."

Foreman said he doubted he had jurisdiction over the case, and also noted Fisz has other methods to punish Tiffany Horak if he believes she violated her agreement.

Fisz said he would be studying the possibility of charging her with perjury.