Raymond Kasper, the nephew of serial killer
A jury took three hours to find Kasper, of Marengo, guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He was found not guilty of one count of sexual assault.
Kasper shook his head as the verdict was read while his sister Kimberlee Kasper sobbed from the courtroom gallery. His bond was revoked at the request of prosecutors and he was immediately taken into custody. Prosecutor Michael Combs said Kasper faces 21 to 120 years in prison at his Sept. 28 sentencing.
Kimberlee Kasper and her brother’s attorney,
"We as a family are absolutely appalled at this decision," Kimberlee Kasper said outside the courtroom, standing with Barrett and Raymond Kasper's eldest son Steven Kasper, 23. "You should not be judged by who your family is."
Steven Kasper said: "We will seek the truth."
During closing arguments Friday morning, a prosecutor said the victim, who is not related to Kasper, was groomed and assaulted at least three times. The girl has recanted her claims and testified that they the abuse did not happen "for real," though a doctor testified her who examined her said she bore wounds consistent with an assault.
And prosecutors asserted that the girl was pressured to change her story, noting her mother admitted she didn't believe her at first.
Some of today's drama was ancillary to the trial itself. Before closing arguments got underway, a courtroom security officer led the victim, her mother and brother into the hallway, where a sheriff's deputy and a representative from the Department of Children and Family Services removed the children. It was not immediately clear why.
But a short time later, when prosecutor Sharyl Eisenstein said during her closing arguments that the girl's mother "didn't have a maternal bone in her body," the woman yelled out, "You took my kids from me!" She was promptly removed from the courtroom.
The girl had first reported the assaults to a school counselor. Authorities have said the attacks continued from June to October of 2011.
But the defense focused on changes in the girl's story. She wrote a letter in May saying she dreamed the abuse, and an investigator testified that the girl told her she was not 100 percent sure it took place.
In her closing statements, though, Eisenstein told the jury that those around the girl had failed to protect her, and the jurors had "heard from witnesses who should have been supporting (the girl). Instead they were tampering, alienating and pressuring her to recant her story."
Barrett, the defense attorney, countered: "It's hard to imagine a case with any more reasonable doubt than this one."
He noted that Kasper, out of jail on bond during the trial, made 70 phone calls that were recorded while he was in custody.
"Not once did he waver in his declaration of innocence," Barrett said.