Now 21, a woman testified on Thursday that she was just 14 when she met a 27-year-old dance instructor from Springfield at a studio in Effingham and later had sex
‘He had sex with me when I was 14, 15, 16 and 17’
Now 21, a woman testified on Thursday that she was just 14 when she met a 27-year-old dance instructor from Springfield at a studio in Effingham and later had sex with him in an Effingham hotel.
It would be the first of many sexual encounters, she told the court.
“He had sex with me when I was 14, 15, 16 and 17,” the woman testified during a hearing in Effingham County Circuit Court.
Charles Young, now 33, is charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony, and criminal sexual assault from a position of supervision of a child between the ages of 13 and 17, a Class 1 felony.
The woman said they met during a three-day practice at the local dance studio in August of 2011. Young was part of a traveling group of instructors leading those sessions. Young singled her out during a lunch break on the first day, she said, complimenting her over Facebook while the two were sitting near each other.
They continued communicating and Young ultimately made the trip to Mattoon, where she lived, to pick her up and bring her to his hotel room in Effingham, where they had sex, she testified. Their relationship continued, she said, and didn’t end until he was charged in December of 2015.
The woman recorded a phone conversation she had with Young in February 2014, when she was a senior in high school. The 30-minute call was played in court.
In the recording, Young repeatedly asks if she had talked about their relationship.
“I just want to close that chapter of my life and move on,” she said in the recording.
During the call, she referred multiple times to the two having sex. But Young in the recording never said he had sex with her.
Defense attorney Beau Brindley sought to keep the recording out of the record, saying it violated Illinois’s eavesdropping law. Under that law, both people in a conversation must agree for it to be recorded, in most situations.
Judge Allan Lolie found, however, that the law allows one-sided recording if one party believes the other has committed a crime.
Young was originally held on a $50,000 bond, but it was reduced to $25,000 by Judge Kimberly Koester on Feb. 26. Young posted the $2,500 required on March 1 and was released.
Lolie scheduled the trial for Nov. 27.
Graham Milldrum can be reached by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 131 or by email at email@example.com