Let the arguments begin in R. Kelly’s trial — Meet the case’s judge and lawyers
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The trial of Robert Sylvester Kelly — better known as R&B superstar R. Kelly — begins today with opening statements. Kelly is accused of videotaping himself engaging in sex acts with a girl as young as 13.
Here is a list of the major players in the courtroom drama:
Vincent Gaughan, 67, runs his courtroom according to strict rules. Using cell phones or BlackBerrys, chewing gum, resting elbows on benches, and reading newspapers — all can be grounds for expulsion. Gaughan’s love of rules might originate in his military background. He joined the Army in 1964 and later became a 1st lieutenant. In Vietnam, he won the Bronze Star for Valor, and he remains active in the American Legion. He worked for the Cook County public defender’s office and became a judge in 1991.
Shauna Boliker, 48, is chief of the Sex Crimes Division of the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. Boliker headed the prosecution of Rev. Daniel McCormack, who pleaded guilty last year to molesting boys at St. Agatha Parish, and prosecuted Mario Villa, the alleged “North Side Rapist.” Last year, Boliker gave birth to her third son — an event cited as one reason the Kelly trial was delayed. But at the time, Boliker was ready to go: “With both my other kids, I came back in a couple of weeks and tried cases in front of juries.”
Robert Heilingoetter, 47, is a deputy supervisor in the Felony Review Unit. The son of former Cook County Judge Jacques Heilingoetter, he has done stints in the Felony Trial Division and the Appeals Division.
THE DEFENSE TEAM
Sam Adam Sr., 72, is a renowned criminal defense lawyer whose high-profile clients have included former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds (D-Ill.) and car dealer Bruno Mancari.
Sam Adam Jr., 35 — Adam Jr. grew up on the South Side and attended Lake Forest Academy and the University of Wisconsin before following in his father’s footsteps. His high-profile clients include former Chicago Ald. Arenda Troutman and Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg. Adam recently defended Howard Morgan, a railroad police officer accused of shooting at four Chicago cops.
Ed Genson, 66 — Genson is arguably the busiest criminal defense lawyer in Cook County. His recent high-profile clients include former Sun-Times proprietor Conrad Black, lobbyist Larry Warner, Mancari, Reynolds, and former state Sen. John D’Arco. The son of a bail bondsman, Genson grew up on the West Side and attended college and law school at Northwestern. A neuromuscular condition forces him to get around with a scooter and a cane.
Marc Martin, 46 — Martin shares offices in the Monadnock Building with Genson. Martin’s clients have included Warner, Black, and former state official Dean Bauer.