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Jury acquits former Fox River Grove dentist of 2018 child sex assault allegations

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

Jurors on Wednesday acquitted a former Fox River Grove dentist of charges alleging he sexually assaulted a girl he knew in 2018.

A McHenry County jury found 58-year-old Bryan D. Stahl not guilty on charges of criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation of a child.

"Dr. Stahl was unwavering in his denial of these allegations. A jury believed him," the man's attorney, Philip Prossnitz said. "We are especially appreciative of the brave McHenry County citizens who during the pandemic agreed to be jurors and do their civic duty."

The verdict followed a three-day trial stemming from Stahl's August 2018 arrest.

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, and was living in the same house as Stahl, prosecutors said at trial.

According to the girl's testimony on Tuesday, she ran away from Stahl's home after he touched her inappropriately. Although Stahl believed the alleged victim was at a Panera Bread, officers traced her cellphone location to Harvard, where she was with her boyfriend at the time, Fox River Grove Police Officer Perry Kalogeris said at trial.

Forensic tests performed on samples form the girl's underwear determined that some of the DNA on the clothing might have belonged to Stahl, Illinois State Police forensic scientist Christopher Webb testified. The type of test performed, however, is used to detect the male lineage of a DNA sample, and not a specific person. So although Stahl couldn't be excluded as the possible provider, he couldn't be specifically linked to it either.

Stahl faces additional misdemeanor domestic battery charges in connection with a separate 2018 case. Prosecutors allege that Stahl pushed the same alleged victim into a shelf and gave her a black eye on Dec. 16, 2017.

According to her testimony at trial, the girl also ran away in December 2017 because there was physical abuse in the home.

Stahl has pleaded not guilty to the domestic battery charges and the case is set for a status hearing on July 22.

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