The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jeff Pelo, he used to arrest people...

Jeff Pelo once was a respected member of law enforcement, earning himself a position as a Bloomington Ill. police sergeant. That's before he was convicted of raping four women and the stalking of a another woman.

Jeff Pelo, 43, was found guilty on 35 counts, including 25 of aggravated sexual assault. Two other charges were dropped during the trial.

The rapes took place from 2002 to 2005. Pelo has been jailed since his June 2006 arrest, unable to post $100,000 to cover $1 million bail.

Prosecutor Mark Messman noted that the jurors reached their decision despite a lack of DNA or similar forensic evidence linking Pelo directly to the rapes.

While the trail contained 'no smoking gun', according to Messman, three of the women were able to pick him out of police lineup, and other strong evidence was presented to the jury.

Defense attorney Michael Rosenblat said he likely would appeal. He plans to argue that the judge shouldn't have let jurors see pornography found on Pelo's home computer, and should have let the defense call an expert witness to testify about the reliability of eyewitness identifications.

The pornography included violent material such as forced sexual encounters at gun point.

The defense however claims that evidence presented proved that the attacks were carried out by different individuals- since the victims descriptions of both the attacker and the actual assault were not similar in most cases. An appeal is likely.