Jury selection starts in rape trial

Woodstock man accused of raping, beating women he met on Craigslist

WOODSTOCK – He’s accused of restraining, beating, threatening and raping women he met on Craigslist, and next week, Charles R. Oliver will face trial.

Jury selection starts Monday morning for the first of eight trials for the 45-year-old Woodstock man. Narrowing a jury to 12 plus two alternates could carry into Tuesday, and attorneys expect the trial to last throughout the week.

Many of the women Oliver is accused of raping were prostitutes who responded to online ads for sex. Many of the encounters were photographed or videotaped – evidence that’s expected to be introduced at trial.

Oliver’s defense attorney Mark Facchini has said that videos don’t depict any force or threat of bodily harm and that the women didn’t have injuries to corroborate the stories they told police.

McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein has said that Oliver brought the woman back to his Woodstock home, which she called a “sex dungeon.” She said that Oliver played by his own set of rules with the women.

In court documents, Eisenstein has said that Oliver prevented some women from leaving his home, that he copied their personal identification, that he beat them, that he made them shower after the rape. Prosecutors alleged that he often said he had ties to law enforcement.

Since Oliver’s initial arrest in January 2013, authorities have three times added more charges bringing the number of alleged victims to eight. The most recent charges were brought forth earlier this month, and for those two cases, he was appointed an assistant public defender.

In recent months, attorneys have argued over what evidence can and cannot be introduced at trial.

From those hearings, testimony revealed that Oliver told police he had trouble with women, he often used prostitutes and “gets off on the rough stuff but has to pay extra for that.”

He’s being held at McHenry County Jail in lieu of $4 million bond.

McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather will preside over the trial.

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