Jury finds Illinois man guilty of rape, torture
DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois man has been found guilty of raping and torturing a woman who investigators say suffered cracked ribs and massive bruising from a baseball bat.
Demariel T. Cunningham, 37, was convicted Thursday on charges that included aggravated criminal sexual assault causing bodily harm and armed violence with a knife, The Herald and Review reported.
A Macon County jury found Cunningham guilty of torturing a 30-year-old woman by repeatedly burning, beating and raping her in April.
Assistant Macon County State’s Attorney Kate Kurtz accused Cunningham of venting his rage on the victim while he abused her. The victim’s injuries included cracked ribs and massive bruising inflicted by a baseball bat, Kurtz said.
Charles E. Hill, who was accused for participating in the beating, testified against Cunningham. He will serve three and a half years in prison under a plea agreement.
Public defender Scott Rueter said Hill was the primary aggressor. He also said the victim’s testimony was unreliable. The woman initially told authorities she was tortured to reveal the location of drugs, but she testified she was beaten to reveal where she hid Cunningham’s watch.
Cunningham faces up to 70 years in prison when sentenced on Feb. 26. He is being held in the Macon County Jail.
Information from: Herald & Review, http://www.herald-review.com