Crime & Courts

Jury selection underway for former Fox River Grove dentist accused of sexually assaulting child

Bryan J. Stahl, 58, of Fox River Grove
Bryan J. Stahl, 58, of Fox River Grove

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a former Fox River Grove dentist accused of sexually assaulting a minor relative in 2018.

In light of concerns surrounding COVID-19, the trial will take place in a larger courtroom, where jurors will be seated at least 6 feet apart.

Stahl, 58, is charged with criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of a child. If convicted of the most serious charge, criminal sexual assault, Stahl could be sentenced to between four and 15 years in prison.

Officers with the Fox River Grove Police Department arrested Stahl after receiving a report that he sexually assaulted a girl whom he knew on Aug. 4, 2018. The alleged victim was between 13 and 17 years old at the time, charging records show.

Stahl appeared in court Monday with his attorney, Woodstock-based Phil Prossnitz. The trial ordinarily would take place in one of the courthouse’s felony courtrooms, but was instead moved to a larger room on the second floor to accommodate social distancing, McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge said.

Anyone wearing a mask in the courtroom will be allowed to remove their face coverings to speak on the record, Coppedge said.

“I think it goes without saying this is a most unusual time for all of us,” Coppedge said.

The trial is expected to continue through the end of the week, excluding Friday, which is a court holiday. Witnesses will include officers with the Fox River Grove, Boone County Sheriff, Harvard and Illinois State police departments.

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