Gaskill's lawyer says sheriff's visits are harassing

Judge says she'll sign an order on visits, but refuses to remove electronic monitoring

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By Devin Rose

Staff Reporter

The judge presiding over the case of a former River Forest foster father who is now facing sexual assault charges said Monday she would sign an order asking for modifications to what his lawyer said were harassing visits from the Cook County Sheriff's Office.

Citing a log of visits since the end of November, Ellen Domph told Judge Noreen Love that her client, Robert Gaskill, has been visited by representatives from the sheriff's office at his apartment or at work during mostly reasonable hours. But between Jan. 9 and Jan. 13, Gaskill received at least 10 sheriff's visits, including several past 2 a.m.

"It has now gone into a level of harassment," Domph said.

Gaskill, 64, was arrested last February after two women told River Forest police that he sexually assaulted them when one was between 12 and 17 years old and the other between the ages of 6 and 9. He pleaded not guilty in March to charges of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

Gaskill and his wife, Mary, had operated a foster care service out of their Ashland Avenue home since 1992.

At the hearing Monday morning at the Maybrook courthouse, Gaskill stood silent next to Domph in a dark suit and an orange tie. A group of his family members and supporters sat in the first two rows of the courtroom.

Domph said the aggressive nature of the sheriff's visits have created an unreasonable situation for her client. She's concerned that sleep interruptions will affect his health, and that he might lose his job or apartment. She asked Love again to release Gaskill from electronic monitoring, which he has been on for 10 months.

Domph said Gaskill was face to face with one of his accusers during resolution of a separate matter in the case, which took place at an earlier date, and she said there was never an incident. Domph called it a trial, but Wednesday Journal learned from a source close to the case that no criminal trial has yet been held. The resolution Domph mentioned would have been a civil matter, the source said.

Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Papa argued Gaskill has been given many opportunities that others in his situation have not gotten. Love had previously lowered his bond from $50 million to $250,000 on the condition he stay on electronic monitoring. She has also modified the monitoring so that Gaskill could buzz visitors into his apartment, do laundry and attend doctor's appointments.

"It would be a mistake," Papa said, to take Gaskill off of electronic monitoring.

Love denied Domph's motion, saying she has made modifications on almost every one of his court dates.

"I am not going to continue to modify," Love said. Though she agreed to sign an order limiting the sheriff's visits, Love said she can't tell their office how to control its operation.

Domph also filed a motion for disciplinary records of officers involved in the case.

The case was continued to a status hearing on Feb. 22.

Reader Comments

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Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: January 8th, 2014 6:05 PM

Brian, I still don't know what you are talking about. "Lemony Snicket" posted a comment on 1/6/2014. I responded on the same day, on 1/6/2014. I guess my question is: What is your point? I am not clear as to what it is that you are trying to communicate to me.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: January 8th, 2014 8:22 AM

yes, but the post you made was a few days old at the time. And you don't post a Bridgett from Oak Park look me up on google for information and photos, just Bridgett from Oak Park

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: January 7th, 2014 11:14 PM

@Brian, I'm sorry, I do not understand your comment to me. First, this story is almost a year old, not a few days old. Posted January 15 of last year, 2013. Second, I am not posting anonymously. Google "Bridgett" and "Oak Park" and you will see who I am. Even photos.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: January 6th, 2014 11:10 AM

Bridgett, is there a reason why you are anonymously posting on a post that is a few days old. Seem to recall the Palos Hills day care operator who was accused of about two hundred such complaints only to find the children made up all the stories. She was found not guilty w/o any follow up. It is a legal case w/trial so we should wait until the disposition is rendered. Maybe, maybe, the States Attorney has a weak case and doesn't want to go forward.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: January 6th, 2014 4:07 AM

Lemony, is there a reason why you are anonymously commenting on a story that is almost 12 months old?

Lemony Snicket  

Posted: January 6th, 2014 12:33 AM

@rebecca are you being serious? U just admitting to not knowing this man or any of the facts surrounding the case and yet u just "feel" like these girls are manipulating the legal system? Are you a complete moron? That is the dumbest comment I have ever seen. I am amazed.

Rebecca from Oak Park  

Posted: January 20th, 2013 6:01 PM

I can't wait for the real truth to come out in this case. I don't even know this man, but I have a strong instinct that he is a very good man who is being wrongly accused by bad people. I sense a tragic manipulation of the legal system. Don't know the facts, just feel that way. Maybe one good thought in his direction will help him and his family who have my prayers.

kash from chicago  

Posted: January 19th, 2013 10:06 PM

Cry me a river..... I don't find this harassment. I am glad they are ensuring Mr. Gaskill is where he should be.

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