BLOOMINGTON — Jurors considering custodial misconduct and intimidation charges against a former McLean County jailer were taken to the jail Monday to view locations where several female inmates were allegedly molested and threatened.
The trial is the second time Robert C. Hall has faced a jury on the charges. A mistrial was declared in June after a jury failed to reach a verdict.
Judge James Souk led jurors through the hallways of the jail Monday where Assistant State’s Attorney Bill Workman pointed out a housing unit where several women said Hall attempted to engage them in sexual activity. Workman explained the location of security cameras in the hallway areas and took jurors to the control room where jurors watched the camera view of the locations.
Hall came along on the tour and his defense lawyer David Rumley asked several questions of assistant jail Superintendent Jamie Kessinger, the state’s first witness.
In opening statements to the jury, Rumley said testimony and evidence expected in the trial will show “the power of rumor” among inmates.
Hall has denied the charges.
Workman told jurors that the former inmates will describe the alleged threats and misconduct that took place in areas outside the range of security cameras and the view of other jail staff. One of the women will admit that she “didn’t fully reject the advances” from Hall because she wanted the favors he offered such as phone privileges, said Workman.
Hall worked at the jail from June 2006 until his arrest in 2008. Charges accuse him of engaging in sexual misconduct with two inmates in 2006 and 2007 and threatening a third in 2008.
The trial will continue Tuesday with testimony expected from the former inmates.