Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ex-Police Sgt. Guilty of Mutiple Rapes

Jury finds former police officer Jeff Pelo guilty of raping 4 women

DAVID MERCER Associated Press Writer
June 18, 2008

A jury found a former Bloomington police sergeant guilty Wednesday of brutally raping four women and stalking a fifth after a trial in which he was described as both driven by pornography-fueled fantasies and a man arrested on flimsy evidence.

Jurors deliberated over parts of three days in Bloomington before convicting Jeff Pelo on 35 counts, including 25 of aggravated sexual assault.

The six men and six women reached their decision despite a lack of DNA or similar forensic evidence linking Pelo directly to the rapes, said prosecutor Mark Messman, who added he was pleased for the victims.

"There was no smoking gun; (but) there were several very strong pieces of evidence," he said.

Messman said he would expect jurors had varying reasons for finding Pelo guilty.

"I wouldn't be surprised if you polled the jurors...if you got 12 different responses, or three or four different responses," he said.

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