Crime & Courts

Attorneys give heated closing arguments in Algonquin man's sex abuse trial

Robert J. Libricz, 58, of Algonquin
Robert J. Libricz, 58, of Algonquin

Arguments surrounding 10 years of alleged rape and sexual abuse came to a close Monday with fervid closing arguments from defense attorneys and prosecutors who called each other’s witnesses rehearsed and unreliable.

Robert J. Libricz, 58, went to trial last week on allegations that he raped and sexually abused a family member several times when she was a child. Similar allegations from another female relative could be dealt with at a separate trial.

Libricz, of Algonquin, is accused of abusing the girls – who now are adults – between 1987 and 2004, when they were between 4 and 15 years old.

Defense attorney Matthew Haiduk called the woman a liar during closing arguments Monday.

“She got up there and told a story she had a decade to think about and a decade to rehearse, and she got a lot of the details wrong,” Haiduk said.

The woman testified in detail Thursday about several instances of abuse that allegedly took place at her childhood home and during a car ride after a family Christmas party when she was about 5 years old.

The allegations were corroborated by Libricz’s statements during two secretly recorded conversations and a neighbor’s report to the Department of Child and Family Services about 28 years ago, McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein said. A family friend who had driven the alleged victim home filed the report after the then-5-year-old described having inappropriate contact with Libricz.

“There was nothing easy about what she had to do,” Eisenstein said of the alleged victim’s testimony. “She was clear, consistent and unwavering ... and what does she have to gain besides justice?”

Haiduk, who called the matter a “garbage case,” suggested the woman might have made a false report to gain “emotional support,” and accused the McHenry County sheriff’s deputy of failing to interview several witnesses who might have disproved the accusations.

McHenry County Judge James Cowlin is expected to give his verdict Nov. 28.

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