Picture of attorney David L. Freidberg,
"I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT HIM..."
"MY SON AND I ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR MR. FREIDBERG AND WHAT HE HAS DONE..."
"DAVID IS A PHENOMENAL LAWYER AND HIS CHARACTER SPEAKS WONDERS..."
"IF YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY IN CHICAGO, I WOULD RECOMMEND HIM IN A HEARTBEAT..."

mihai-surdu-DeI2BMIMDFA-unsplash-copy-300x200To date, there are 87 women who have reported sexual assault or harassment against Harvey Weinstein. Now credited as the progenitor of the #MeToo movement, Weinstein has retained the help of a prominent Chicago attorney, Donna Rotunno, to represent him against the numerous sexual misconduct allegations against him. Weinstein stands accused of five felony sex crimes

Rotunno has a unique specialty. She primarily represents those who are charged with sexual assault. This case has propelled her into the national spotlight as she attempts to defend her most notorious client, a man who is alleged to have gotten away with rape for decades because of his prominence in the film industry and forcibly and coercively leveraged women into performing sex acts on him as pay to play for landing key roles in film. 

Two of those charges stem from an assault that occurred in 2013 involving allegations of forcible rape and a 2006 allegation that alleges predatory sexual assault. 

matt-popovich-60437-copy-300x162Video footage showed a 6’6” officer pushing and punching a mentally-ill patient in the face. Yet this officer has had all charges against him dismissed. A department beleaguered by numerous complaints of police brutality and violent criminal activity now faces another scandal in which their reputation hangs in the balance.

Rayshon Gartley was involuntarily committed to Jackson Park Hospital. He was escorted there by police officer Clauzell Gause. Gartley was handcuffed when he was being pushed, and at one point, held down on the bed while punched. 

Gause was initially charged by Cook County prosecutors, but those charges have since been dismissed. Here, we will take a closer look at why.

tertia-van-rensburg-37121-copy-300x224The trial of Brendt Christiansen, the man accused of murdering Chinese exchange student Yingying Zhang, has begun. Amid claims that there is surveillance evidence showing Christiansen admitting Zhang into his car the night she was murdered, the prosecution will introduce evidence gathered by his longtime girlfriend, who wore a wire for federal investigators, against Christiansen at trial. She will claim that Christiansen repeatedly indicated to her that he wanted to be a serial killer and made other inflammatory proclamations.

Defense attorneys, however, are questioning her sanity and her competency to bear witness against her former boyfriend. They are attempting to subpoena psychiatric evaluations of the former girlfriend citing that it is relevant to the quality of her testimony. Additionally, the witness, referred to only as T.B., will provide evidence that she introduced him to the “BDSM lifestyle” which vaguely translates into fetishists who enjoy bondage and domination. 

“Damaged and Unstable”

max-bender-wJx-K1b7ZLI-unsplash-copy-240x300Chicago taxi driver Mustafa Dikbas was accused of holding a woman hostage and sexually assaulting her in his taxi earlier this year. The man was later arrested in Oswego for a 2007 sexual assault that also occurred within a taxi. 

The investigation began in 2007 when a woman told police that she had been sexually assaulted on a trip from Chicago to Oswego by her cab driver. She was able to provide a description of the driver to police but did not know the name of the cab company and could not provide information on the vehicle. DNA evidence was collected and found its way into the DNA index system. 

Dikbas was arrested earlier this year in a similar assault on a 26-year-old woman in his taxi and charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and kidnapping. Dikbas’s DNA was entered into the system and turned up a match.

robert-hickerson-38585-copy-200x300Yet another Chicago Alderman is headed to prison after being handed a one-year sentence for defrauding a personal charity. According to prosecutors, Willie Cochran used his charitable fund to pay for gambling trips, expensive meals, and accessories for his Mercedes. Cochran pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which ended his City Council position. 

Cochran’s lawyers hoped to secure probation for their client with six months of house arrest. Instead, Cochran will spend the next year behind bars. 

Since 1972, 30 Chicago Aldermen have been convicted of crimes and several more have been charged. Cochrane, who was charged by federal authorities, will spend the next year in federal prison along with several other Chicago Aldermen who were convicted in a federal sting aimed at uprooting corruption in the Chicago City Council. These include “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak and William Beavers who were both convicted after leaving the City Council and most recently, Edward Burke who is accused of using his position to force prospective developers to use his tax law firm to secure building permits. Another Alderman, Carrie Austin, is under investigation for the suspicious purchase and construction of a Chicago home. 

simon-migaj-423321-unsplash-copy-300x200Brendt Christiansen told police that he murdered 13 people. Police do not believe him. Police believe that Christiansen did, however, murder Yingying Zhang, a visiting scholar, and that this could have led to other murders had they not caught him. Police were able to turn Christiansen’s girlfriend against him and got her to wear a wire. He described how he murdered Zhang and then went on to tell her that he murdered 12 other people. His girlfriend, Terra Bullis, asked Christiansen if he thought he might be the next successful serial killer and Christiansen told her that he already was and that Zhang was “number 13.”

Police say that Christiansen lured Zhang away from a bus stop and then forced her into his apartment where he raped, beat, and stabbed her. 

Christiansen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Yingying Zhang. 

rawpixel-1055781-unsplash-1-300x201While charges of fraud are not exactly rare when it comes to political candidates, Chicago Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno stands accused of filing a false police report to defraud his insurance company. This is generally not the kind of fraud charges that politicians face. Nonetheless, it is still illegal.

Authorities have charged Moreno with fraud and obstruction of justice after reporting his Audi A6 stolen. After Moreno had reported the car stolen, his girlfriend, Liliya Hrabar was pulled over by police while driving it. Hrabar herself was charged with criminal trespass. During the interrogation, Hrabar produced text messages indicating that Moreno had willingly lent her the car one day prior to filing the police report. The charges against Hrabar were subsequently dropped and Moreno was charged with filing a false police report, obstruction of justice, disorderly conduct, and insurance fraud.

According to police, Moreno attempted to file a $30,000 claim with his insurance company to replace the car. The police contacted the insurance company and found that he had given differing accounts of the theft. After Hrabar was caught, Moreno claimed that he had loaned the vehicle to her but could not get it back. Moreno then claimed that because she was a single mom, he just wanted to help her out and that the road to Hell is often paved with good intentions. For that reason, he reported it stolen.

matt-popovich-60437-copy-300x162The Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights protects Americans against unlawful or capricious searches. It is a foundational restriction on government overreach. The Founders knew well the capacity for state-sanctioned violence and wrote specific rules into the Constitution to protect U.S. citizens. While some laud this as the foundation of liberty, others feel it is an encumbrance to justice. Two such officers will now stand trial for providing false or misleading information to judges in order to secure warrants against suspects. These officers stand accused of using the warrants not to bring criminals to justice but rather to steal their drugs and money.

Sgt. Xavier Elizondo and Officer David Salgado stand accused of civil rights conspiracy, among other things. Other officers and at least one judge, Mauricio Araujo, will take the stand for the prosecution. The trial is set to begin on October 7th of 2019.

System of “John Does” Questioned

pepe-nero-88205-unsplash-copy-300x200The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the daughter of an Arlington Heights couple has been charged in the murder of her parents. According to police, Deborah Jane Martin stabbed her father and his wife to death multiple times a few hours after they had dinner with neighbors. Police appear to have recovered a journal in which the woman alludes to wanting to kill her parents. According to police, the journal contained multiple references to carrying out the murder including one as recent as six days before the incident.

Police also have a phone call from Anne Martin to 911 in which she sounds like she’s saying “No, Debbie” and the murder weapon was found in Deborah Jane Martin’s bedroom. The woman is being charged with first-degree murder.

How to Defend a Case Like This

aaker-746547-unsplash-copy-300x200A 17-year-old is being charged with attempted sexual assault and two counts of aggravated battery. The woman was on the Old Plank Trail in Frankfurt when the attacker, Anthony M. Carbone, allegedly pushed her to the ground. The woman asked him what he was doing and Carbone apparently looked startled and then ran off.

Was this the act of a young man who suddenly came to his senses and realized what he was doing was wrong? Or is it the act of a young man who thought twice about a sex crime he was about to perpetrate?

The police determined at some point during interrogation that Carbone was attempting to rape the woman he knocked over. But the question of how they came about that information and why the man chose to flee instead of continuing to do whatever it was he was doing will complicate their case.