Crime & Courts

Appeal denied for Woodstock man convicted of rape

Charles R. Oliver
Charles R. Oliver

WOODSTOCK – A former Woodstock man convicted of raping women he met on Craigslist and other websites in 2014 will remain in prison after his appeal was denied last week. Charles Oliver was sentenced by Judge Sharon Prather to 36 years in prison.

He was found guilty of criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint in what was expected to be the first of eight trials. One month later, he pleaded guilty to two additional sex crimes, and the remaining charges were dropped.

On Friday, the Illinois 2nd District Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court of McHenry County, stating that the defendant was not deprived of a fair trial nor did he receive ineffective legal counsel.

Oliver argued that he was denied a fair trial because the court allowed a statement made by the defendant in which he said, “And he said, ya know, the girl’s stories are inconsistent but there’s some truth to ‘em, ya know.” He said that by conveying his attorney’s opinion that there was “some truth” in the witnesses’ stories, it improperly revealed his attorney’s view that Oliver was guilty, according to the appeal.

The court said the admission of the defendant’s statement was not clear or obvious error. The evidence proved that there was “some truth” to the women’s stories, and that was not disputed.

He also argued that he was denied effective assistance of counsel because his attorney did not seek to redact Oliver’s statement.

The court said Oliver failed to prove that he had ineffective counsel because in order to prove that, the claim must meet the two-part test of Strickland v. Washington. In order to do so, the defendant must show that his counsel’s performance was deficient because it fell below an objective standard of reasonableness. He must also prove that if not for his attorney’s deficiencies, the results of the case would have been different.

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