MCHENRY COUNTY, Ill. — The trial for two former Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) workers accused of child endangerment entered its fifth day Friday after the prosecution rested their case Thursday afternoon.
Court was only in session for approximately 30 minutes as both defendants chose not to testify, and their respective attorneys then rested their cases without calling any witnesses. Judge George Strickland then scheduled a Tuesday virtual meeting to set the deadline for any remaining submissions of evidence and the date to hearing closing arguments. He stated he expected that date to be within the first two weeks of October.
Charges were filed against the pair in Sept. 2020, stemming from the April 2019 death of five-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund of Crystal Lake. Andrew Polovin and Carlos Acosta are accused of having known the child’s life was in danger four months earlier, yet not taking the right steps to ensure the situation didn’t worsen.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors have maintained that caseworkers should have taken action when they received information in Dec. 2018 from police, who called the DCFS hotline regarding a bruise on AJ’s hip. While the child and his mother blamed the bruise on being pawed by a dog, the child also told a doctor, “maybe someone hit me with a belt. Maybe mommy didn’t mean to hurt me.”
If attorneys for either defendant choose to call witnesses, including the defendants themselves, their opportunity to do so begins today.
The bench trial began on Monday with the McHenry County State’s Attorney providing an opening statement for the prosecution, and separate attorneys providing statements for each of the defendants. It is expected to take about a week.