Defense: Investigator may have destroyed, withheld docs in case of ex-priest accused of sex abuse
A Kane County investigator in a former Aurora priest’s sex abuse case may have destroyed some notes while withholding others, according to the former priest’s lawyer, who is seeking information about the investigator’s recent resignation from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Alfredo Pedraza Arias, 51, is scheduled for a November trial on felony charges he sexually abused and assaulted two young girls between 2012 and 2014 while a priest at Sacred Heart Church in Aurora. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Immigration officials revoked the temporary religious worker visa for Arias, who is from Colombia. His trial has been repeatedly delayed while he faces deportation. Prosecutors have accused Arias of trying to use his deportation to avoid trial.
In a hearing earlier this month, Kane County Circuit Judge Linda Abrahamson said the recent disclosure about the notes was “like an atomic bomb” and that the trial may be affected by whether lawyers have access to the man who investigated the case for the Kane County Child Advocacy Center.
The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office would not confirm the investigator’s employment status, stating they don’t comment on personnel matters.
Material newly disclosed earlier this month included notes about interviews the investigator conducted that weren’t turned in when they should have been, said Arias’ attorney, David Camic.
After completing initial reports, the investigator allegedly made statements to police or prosecutors which narrated or described what Arias is accused of doing, according to a recent motion.
The defense has learned the investigator may have destroyed certain notes, memos, computer entries or other information narrating or referencing his investigation, after the defendant’s request to preserve it, the motion states.
The defense is asking a judge to order prosecutors and witnesses to disclose further evidence, including any the investigator may not have previously disclosed, and correspondence referencing any information that has been destroyed, along with the date of destruction.
They’re also asking for copies of any documents prosecutors have that explain or describe “the nature of the internal investigation which resulted in the resignation of (the investigator)” from the child advocacy center and the state’s attorney’s office.