The Southland's major criminal and civil cases heard in Cook County and Will County courts this week.
OAK LAWN — Looking slender in a conservative dark suit, former Advocate Christ Medical Center physician Rajat Prakash was back in court on Thursday for a status hearing before Cook County Judge Maureen Daly in Bridgeview.
The doctor faces a misdemeanor battery charge that he fondled a 32-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis while she was in a semi-conscious state. A second woman has accused Prakash of forcing her to touch his penis as they sat in his car discussing her medical case in a Starbucks parking lot in Oak Lawn last November.
Prakash was charged with felony criminal sexual abuse by force on May 4, following a months-long investigation by Oak Lawn Police. Civil cases are also said to be pending against the physcian.
His attorney, Nick Falkis requested a subpoena for the first patient’s medical records from Christ Hospital. Falkis told the judge the medical center turned down his original request, citing federal medical confidentiality laws.
A hearing on a Cook County prosecutor's motion to quash the subpoena has been scheduled for May 29.
It was also determined that since the more serious felony charge, that case would go to trial first. A status hearing on the felony charge is set for June 25.
Prakash is no longer affiliated with Christ Hospital, although he is still permitted to practice internal medicine, provided a “chaperone” is present during medical examinations pending his criminal case, according to the Illinois Division of Professional Regulation.
NEW LENOX TOWNSHIP—The men who robbed a New Lenox Township home while the resident's dead body decomposed in a bedroom were "lacking mercy and void of conscience," the cousin of the victim said during a tearful testimony Friday. David D. Reed, 23, and John H. White, 21, both of Chicago, appeared in Will County Court on Friday for a sentencing hearing after . A final decision on their sentencing will be made June 5.
Reed and White are both charged with a Class 1 felony, which could carry a sentence between four and 15 years in prison. However, neither one has a major criminal record, something that could impact their sentence. Due to the lack of records, and that both have reported substance abuse problems, they could be eligible for a treatment program. But State’s Attorney Chris Regis described their actions as a “.”
“They did more that," Regis said. "They took a ride in the deceased’s vehicle with the murderer of Dwight Jones. They intended to return with a moving van to get the piano in his home. That is a lack of regard for anything. That is dangerous behavior. The public needs to be protected from people who have no respect, no emotion, for a dead body."
FRANKFORT—Judge Marzell Richardson Jr. granted the motion for discovery request by Michael Albanese's lawyer, moving Albanese's next court date to June 4. Albanese is charged with three misdemeanor counts of presence of a child sex offender in a public park. .
FRANKFORT—The lawyer for Brandon Bergthold requested another status hearing for her client, who is accused of trying to meet a father willing to prostitute 6- and 11-year-old girls. Bergthold, a Frankfort Township resident, was indicted on two counts of indecent solicitation and two counts of traveling to meet a minor earlier this year following a two-month investigation. His next court date is June 19.
On the Docket Next Week
James Shaver, accused of stalking the girl he once babysat
Robert Phelan, accused of molesting an elderly dementia patient
Nicholas Sord, charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI
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