Trial begins of man accused of taking 14-year-old to Illinois for sex
BY TERESA AUCH SCHULTZ email@example.com October 15, 2013 5:20PM
Updated: November 17, 2013 6:31AM
The trial of an Illinois man accused of taking a 14-year-old Hammond girl across state lines for sex started Monday with testimony from a Chicago police officer about how the defendant admitted to knowing the girl’s age when he slept with her.
Arnold Weddington, who is related to the defendant, Carey Ray, is also and a Chicago Police Department detective who specializes in sex crimes against children. He testified in U.S. District Court in Hammond that he first learned Ray was in legal trouble after Ray’s mother called him on Oct. 11, 2012.
Ray’s mother had her son call Weddington the next day, and at first, Weddington told the jury, he was evasive, saying he wanted Weddington to find out why the Lansing, Ill., Police Department was looking for him.
When Weddington said he needed to know some details before he could call the department, Ray at first said he thought it had to do with a 21-year-old woman he met online.
Weddington questioned that, however, and Ray changed his story in a second phone call that same day to saying the girl was 17 years old. His relative still didn’t believe he would be in trouble for that, Weddington told the jury, and that’s when Ray came clean.
“That’s when he told me she was 14,” Weddington testified.
He added that he also asked his relative if he knew the girl was 14 when they had sex, and Ray said yes.
Ray, 30, with ties to Chicago and Blue Island, Ill., is facing one count of transporting a minor across state lines for sexual relations. Federal attorneys claim he met the victim on an online social website a year ago, picked her up from Indiana before taking her to a hotel in Lansing. He then gave her alcohol and marijuana before trying to undress her. When she tried to stop him, he held her down and had sex with her.
His attorney, Kerry Connor, said in her opening statement Monday that the case wasn’t so simple and that the girl claimed online that she was 21 and made herself appear to be older than she was.
Connor also asked another witness, Lansing Detective David Olejarz, about notes he took when he spoke with Weddington. Those notes say that Weddington claimed Ray told him he found out about the girl’s age “later,” which Connor argued showed he actually found out after they had sex.
However, Olejarz said he never asked Weddington what he meant by “later” and that he didn’t know if it mean after Ray had sex with the girl or if it meant after they first met online.
The jury also viewed security video footage from the hotel, a Days Inn, showing Ray going to the lobby by himself on Oct. 8, 2012, to pay for the room for four hours and then entering the room with the girl. The blinds were shut just after they went in.
The trial will continue Tuesday and is expected to last three days.