Will Co. Herald-News
JOLIET, Illinois – Witnesses may be allowed to testify about their relationships with a Joliet woman who police said had sex with a 15-year-old boy.
Will County assistant state's attorney John Connor said the encounters were recorded with surveillance cameras from the home Hernandez shared with her boyfriend, John Gabriel, in the 6900 block of Monmoth Drive.
Hernandez, 36, who was a Troy Township Democratic committeewoman, was arrested in October 2012 after Gabriel, 79, came under investigation by the FBI. Gabriel, a retired journalist for The Times Weekly and Weekly Reporter, was convicted in March on federal charges of manufacturing child pornography.
While Burmila ruled the video would prejudice Hernandez's right to a fair trial, he granted Connor's motion to "admit other acts" by the defendant.
One boy who had a "dating relationship" with Hernandez and two boys whose interactions with her demonstrate sexual "grooming behavior" could be called as witnesses, Connor said. The witnesses were all underage at the time, according to Connor.
According to court files, Gabriel recorded sexual activities of Hernandez and others, which he claimed was a religious ritual.
An email Gabriel sent a 17-year-old girl said if "participants had sex with troubled young boys then they were assisting in training the boys in better behavior, and to fight the devil," according to the U.S Attorney's Office. "In addition, according to these e-mails, each time a participant had sex with a troubled boy, a wealthy benefactor would purchase guide dogs for the blind and fund children’s wings for hospitals."