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Two Felony Charges Against WL Man Dropped by Judge

October 27, 2005

By ROB PHILLIPS, NORTHWEST HERALD - rphillips@nwherald.com

WOODSTOCK - A judge on Tuesday dropped two felony charges against a Wonder Lake man accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

McHenry County Presiding Judge Sharon Prather said prosecutors failed to present sufficient evidence to a McHenry County grand jury for half the charges filed against Brian Hitztaler, 35, of Wonder Lake.

Hitztaler still faces charges of criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Police say the girl was at a Lake Geneva, Wis., gathering along with Hitztaler and Hitztaler's teenage son. The girl went back to Hitztaler's Wonder Lake home to sleep, police have said.

She awoke when Hitztaler was touching her, police said. Hitztaler was charged March 19.

Hitztaler's attorney, Henry Sugden, argued to Prather that prosecutors never presented a grand jury the evidence needed to charge his client with additional counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault.

Nichole Owens, criminal chief of the McHenry County state's attorney's office, said that prosecutors probably would not refile the additional charges against Hitztaler because he still faces the same penalties on the remaining counts.

If convicted of the most serious charge, Hitztaler could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

Hitztaler, who is free on $8,000 bond, is next expected in court Nov. 1.

Located in Crystal Lake, Illinois, the lawyers at Madsen, Sugden & Gottemoller, Attorneys at Law, represent clients in McHenry County, including the communities of: Crystal Lake, McHenry, Waukegan, Woodstock, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Cary, Elgin, Dundee, Barrington, Harvard, Marengo, and Johnsburg.

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