CAMBRIDGE -- Justin Bealer, 28, of Colona, waived a jury trial on Monday and began a bench trial before Judge Charles "Casey" Stengel.
Mr. Bealer is being tried on 15 of the 79 counts of Class X felony predatory criminal sexual assault he was charged with on Nov. 12, 2010.
In August, he was found guilty of eight counts Class 2 felony aggravated criminal sexual abuse and nine counts Class X predatory criminal sexual assault. He has not yet been sentenced on those charges.
On Monday, a 17-year-old girl testified she began going to Mr. Bealer's house when she was in the fourth grade so he could babysit her. She said that when she was in the fifth grade, Mr. Bealer began his sexual conduct, with one type of act happening at least 30 times and another happening at least 50 times.
She testified Mr. Bealer ostensibly was giving her music lessons but, if she hit a wrong note, he would have her pull a piece of paper from a box and do what was written on it. Some of the tasks were innocent but some were sexual, she said. The girl also said Mr. Bealer often gave her money, took her to a park or swimming.
Mr. Bealer's attorneys, Marc Wolfe and Jacqueline Aldrich, challenged the girl's credibility and memory of which rewards followed which alleged acts.
The girl said Mr. Bealer's conduct continued through the summer of her sixth grade year, but then she stopped going to Mr. Bealer's house. She said she didn't tell her mother about the acts until she realized Mr. Bealer was being charged with sexual assault to another child. That case was filed on Nov. 5, 2010.
Also on Monday, Corey Peck, of the Illinois State Police, testified he was present when Mr. Bealer was interviewed about the charges, and police searched his grandmother's home where he lived. Agent Peck said Mr. Bealer told Agent Tony Romeo he had had a sexual relationship with two girls. When by his grandmother if the allegations were true, Mr. Bealer responded "yes," Agent Peck said.
Agents took a laptop computer and Sony camera from the home, the agent said.
Today is Friday, April 25, the 115th day of 2014. There are 250 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: Never in the history of Rock Island was there such a demand for houses as at present. Our city is suffering for the want of suitable tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The choir of Central Presbyterian Church presented a ladies concert under the direction of S.T. Bowlby.
1914 — 100 years ago: Miss Rosella Benson was elected president of the Standard Bearers of Spencer Memorial Methodist Church.
1939 — 75 years ago: Mrs. Nell Clapper was elected president of the Rock Island Business and Professional Women's Club.
1964 — 50 years ago: Gerald Hickman, of Seattle, Wash, will move his family to Rock Island to assume the position of produce buyer for the Eagle Food Center chain of food stores. This announcement was made today by Bernard Weindruch, president of Eagles.
1989 — 25 years ago: Care & Share, formed in 1984 to provide food to jobless and needy Quad-Citians, will disband because the major part of a crisis created by plant closings is over. Food for the needy is still necessary. So groups separately will continue to raise money and collect food.