'Boy exploitation' note can be used against suspect in Skokie teen's murder

A handwritten note titled “Boy profile for exploitation” — allegedly found in the home of a man accused in the 1992 strangulation of a Skokie teenager — can be admitted at the suspect’s upcoming murder trial.

A Cook County judge ruled that the evidence, as well as details about some other alleged crimes and misconduct, can be used against Robert Serritella, 73. The former Park Ridge man is charged with killing 15-year-old David Chereck, whose body was found in a Morton Grove forest preserve by a dog-walker.

The boy had disappeared while out walking, becoming one of the Chicago area’s better-known cold cases until Serritella was arrested in Los Angeles in 2014.

Prosecutors have for months been arguing that Judge Lauren Gottainer Edidin should allow into evidence proof of “other crimes and bad acts” allegedly committed by Serritella in the years before and after Chereck’s death. Authorities say the evidence shows a pattern of Serritella soliciting and committing sex crimes against boys, pointing to his motive for allegedly stalking, abducting and strangling Chereck.

Defense attorneys say past allegations against Serritella, as well as statements he allegedly made saying he had sex with boys, would prejudice the jury.

But Edidin said the “exploitation” note — apparently a checklist of traits to seek in boys to target for sexual abuse — is “relevant evidence,” noting it was found in Serritella’s apartment.

Its contents included bullet points such as, “an underachiever in school or home,” “comes from a home where parents were absent either physically or psychologically,” “usually wont (sic) homosexual experiences” and “suffers from poor sociological development,” according to court documents.

Source link