Defense: Throw Out Arrest of Drifter Accused in Sex Assault
A public defender for Dennis Dodson, the drifter accused of sexually assaulting a then-83-year-old woman at a Home Depot near Oak Forest, is filing a motion to quash the arrest based on the identification of Dodson in a photo array.
A public defender for a homeless man accused of sexually assaulting an elderly woman is questioning the photo identification of her client and announced Thursday that she is filing a motion to get his arrest thrown out.
Dennis Dodson, 36, is currently in Cook County jail and appeared in Judge John J. Hynes' Bridgeview courtroom in his customary khaki Department of Corrections uniform and ponytail.
Prosecutors say on Sept. 26, 2011, Dodson wrestled an elderly woman to the ground, and sexually assaulted her behind the Home Depot at 159th Street and Harlem Avenue near Oak Forest, where he was living at the time. She had offered Dodson food and crackers two days prior, and returned to tell him she was working to find him a shelter, according to reports.
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Assistant Public Defender Camille Bachli asked prosecutor Clarissa Palermo for information Thursday about how police obtained Dodson's photo for an array presented to the alleged victim for identification.
Bachli said she wants to determine if it was actually Dodson's picture included in the array.
Palermo responded that the photo used is Dodson's booking photo from another state. Dodson's rap sheet includes 60 arrests in 15 states, according to past reports.
However, Palermo indicated that she doesn't know if and what kind of information investigators would have to prove that information.
"I'm not sure he'll be able to come up with anything," Palermo told the judge.
"It's all to the state's benefit (if there is such information)," Hynes responded. "If there's a question of the ID of the person in the photo. I haven't seen it...but if there's a question on that, maybe you can track that down."
Palermo said she will object if Dodson's attorney subpoenas the now 84-year-old alleged victim as part of the motion.
Hynes said both sides are welcome to present case law for him to consider regarding whether the woman should be summoned.
Dodson is scheduled to be back in court on Feb. 21.
—by Bridgette Outten
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