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Jurors watch video of alleged Craigslist sex assault

WOODSTOCK – Jurors on Tuesday watched a 12-minute video of a sexual encounter between Charles Oliver and the woman he’s accused of raping.

On the video, the alleged victim is heard whimpering as Oliver, 45, asks if she’s scared.

The woman’s answer was inaudible. Oliver then said, “Of what? Everything’s fine if you just do what you’re supposed to do.”

In her opening statement, Assistant State’s Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein said that Oliver, who’s accused of raping multiple women, already had put so much fear into the woman that she’d agree to anything.

“If she wanted to get home, she had to do everything he said,” Eisenstein said. “Look at her eyes, her face. She’s not enjoying what’s happening.”

Oliver’s accuser was not in the courtroom when jurors watched the video. The Northwest Herald does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault.

Oliver, of Woodstock, was heard on the video telling the woman, who was 22 when the Nov. 6, 2012, incident occurred, not to look scared.

She responded: “I’m not scared.”

In his opening statement, Oliver’s defense attorney, Jeff Altman, asked that jurors pay close attention to the video, saying it shows that the woman was a willing participant in the sex acts.

“No one forced [the alleged victim] to do this,” Altman said. “This was a consensual meeting. Everything took place as a result of an agreement they made.”

The alleged victim testified that she and Oliver agreed to meet up for sex in exchange for $200. They met through a “no strings attached” posting on Craigslist.

Many of the threats happened off camera, Eisenstein said, in a locked basement of Oliver’s Woodstock home. The woman testified that once in the basement, Oliver grabbed her hair and pushed her to a kneeling position. She said she was afraid for her life.

“I begged with him to let me go,” the woman said. “I was begging him to please not hurt me, to let me go.”

Eight women have accused Oliver of raping them, and each case is expected to be tried separately. The women are said to have met him through Craigslist or other websites and agreed to sex in exchange for money.

For the trial this week before McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather, Oliver is charged with criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint.

Proceedings will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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