A Cook County judge ruled Monday that evidence of other crimes in the case of Kevin Skaritka will be allowed in his trial, saying the evidence offered by prosecutors has “probative value that outweighs a prejudicial effect.”
Skaritka, 35, of Orland Park and is accused of molesting his girlfriend’s teenage daughter and exposing himself to her between 2009 and May 2011.
During Monday's hearing, Judge John J. Hynes said he considered the defense's argument that allowing evidence of crimes that allegedly took place over a two-year period would be prejudicial. The evidence prosecutors have presented include Skaritka allegedly offering the victim alcohol and cannabis and coming to her bedroom in the “early hours of the morning.” Skaritka has denied the allegations and said the information was the result of the victim “trying to get back at him,” Hynes noted.
However, Hynes said that issue is for the jury to decide.
“This whole continuous course of conduct shows motive, intent to kind of groom this young lady,” Hynes said, adding the behavior showed an escalation of events that eventually led to Skaritka's indictment.
Without the evidence, even though it was over a “long time,” Hynes said during his ruling, “you can't have a flavor of what's going on here, unless you show how it escalated.”
When asked by Patch about the ruling, Skaritka's attorney, Aaron Rosenblatt with Robert J. Callahan & Associates, declined comment.
However, Skaritka said, “Come to trial, you'll see the truth. Come to the trial and you will see the truth. And you can print that.”
A trial date has been set for Sept. 4.
Look back at past stories on this case.