Crime & Courts

Oliver trial wraps first day with 8 jurors selected

WOODSTOCK – Jury selection for the Charles Oliver trial will carry into a second day after attorneys and the judge dismissed more potential jurors than they selected.

Oliver, 45, is accused in eight separate cases of raping women who responded to online ads for sex. Many of the alleged victims were prostitutes.

Attorneys on Monday chose eight jurors – four men and four women – before eventually exhausting the pool. Twelve jurors are needed plus two alternates.

Assistant State's Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein said prosecutors likely will introduce sexually explicit evidence – including video of the alleged attacks. She asked potential jurors if they would have a problem viewing and discussing such evidence.

Oliver's defense attorney Mark Facchini asked the jury panel whether they had moral or ethical objections to pornography.

Nearly 20 potential jurors were dismissed after saying they likely couldn't set aside prejudice based on the nature of the charges against Oliver. Some said they had been or knew someone who was the victim of sexual assault.

Others said they had seen or read news accounts leading up to the trial. One juror was dismissed when she said she knew an alleged victim from one of Oliver's other pending cases.

Since Oliver's January 2013 arrest, authorities have three times added more allegations of sexual assault. The most recent charges were filed earlier this month, and for those he was appointed an assistant public defender to represent him.

There are eight alleged victims in all. Attorneys expect to try each case separately.

Oliver remains in custody at McHenry County Jail in lieu of $4 million bond.

Jury selection will resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The trial before McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather is expected to last through Friday.

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