An attorney representing Robert Gaskill hopes that personnel records from River Forest police investigators will help their case.
Gaskill, 64, was arrested last year on allegations that he sexually assaulted two juveniles who were living as foster children in his River Forest home over a 13-year period.
The victims, both female, were between the ages of 12 and 17 years old over the course of the alleged abuse. Gaskill pleaded not guilty to charges of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in March 2012.
The former publishing executive and his wife have acted as guardians for 75 foster children since 1992.
Gaskill and his lawyer, Ellen Domph, appeared before Cook County Circuit Court Judge Noreen Love on Feb. 22. At the brief hearing, held at the Maybrook courthouse, Love allowed a continuance of the case to March, pending the resolution of a court-ordered subpoena seeking personnel records of members of the River Forest Police Department.
Filed in October, the subpoena requests all documentation of citizens' complaints filed with the police department over the past decade pertaining to officials who have participated in the Gaskill investigation. Records sought include reprimands, performance evaluations, suspensions and use of excessive force allegations.
The plea includes records for River Forest Detective Sgt. Marty Grill, Officer Anthony Pluto — both of who whom were involved in pre-arraignment interviews with the defendant — and Officer Jennifer Casey.
Domph stated that the police department has ignored the subpoena and failed to provide a reason why the request should be denied under Illinois law. Casey and two other officers were recently cleared on charges of excessive force related to a 2009 disturbance call.
Following Friday's hearing, Domph declined to comment on the outstanding subpoena, stating that the issue was "nothing new."
Gaskill, who was accompanied by friends and family at the hearing, is the former publisher of the West Group of Pioneer Press newspapers, which includes the Oak Leaves and Forest Leaves.
The defendant was released on bail in March and is currently subject to electronic monitoring — a provision which Domph has contested on the grounds that her client is not a flight risk.
Love on Feb. 22 said she would be ready to hear arguments at the next hearing, which is set for March 19.
Devin Rose contributed to this report.
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