DECATUR — Video testimony and a child’s anguished conversation with her mother will be allowed in the trial of an Oreana man accused of sexual offenses involving four girls, ages 11 to 15.
The case of Brian A. Thompson, 48, came up for a pretrial hearing Monday in Macon County Circuit Court. Thompson is charged with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of a child, indecent solicitation and solicitation to meet a child. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts and is represented by defense attorney Thomas Wheeler.
At issue before Judge Jeffrey Geisler in Monday’s hearing was whether to allow the prosecution to introduce video of victim interviews into evidence and one child’s conversation with her mother.
Geisler, who had earlier watched the police videos, agreed with Macon County Assistant State’s Attorney Kate Kurtz and ruled the videos were done in a timely manner and met the legal safeguards of reliability.
Geisler said he will also allow the hearsay testimony of the 39-year-old mother, who had first reported Thompson to the police and alerted other parents after the child had spoken to her Aug. 21. The child reported receiving lewd pictures on her phone sent by Thompson while she was on a sleepover and said he was trying to lure her outside where he waited in a nearby garage, according to a Macon County Sheriff's Office affidavit.
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“I do find the testimony was spontaneous, and it is not something (the mother) drew out of the conversation,” Geisler said.
The affidavit said the child’s conversation with the mother proved the start of an investigation into Thompson. Police said Thompson, under questioning, told how the girls in his Oreana neighborhood performed sexual acts on him and watched pornography in his home. One child told police he crept into her bedroom to watch her, and another child said he regularly made suggestive sexual remarks to girls about their bodies.
Thompson’s trial is due to begin July 16. He remained in Macon County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.
Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid