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New trial date scheduled for Lake County policeman charged with rape
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New trial date scheduled for Lake County policeman charged with rape

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CROWN POINT — A new trial has been scheduled for the suspended police officer charged this summer with rape.

Judge Samuel L. Cappas scheduled Monday an April 23 trial date for Nicholas Medrano, who worked for the Lake County sheriff's office. A pretrial conference is scheduled for March 14.

Medrano, 34, of Crown Point, is charged with rape, attempted rape, sexual battery and criminal confinement on allegations he raped a woman, identified as a co-worker, between Jan. 10, 2013, and June 30, 2014.

A grand jury indicted Medrano on the charges June 22. A trial scheduled to begin Monday was canceled earlier this month. 

Paul Stracci and Caitlin Padula, the defense attorneys for Medrano, argued at Monday's court hearing the defense should be able to inspect a journal kept by the alleged victim.

Cappas ordered last week that 16 pages from the woman's journal would be released to the defense because it was “material or relevant” to the woman's rape claim, according to court records.

Padula raised questions at Monday's hearing about whether the journal entries were “manufactured,” or written after the investigation began to bolster her rape claim.

Padula said the “tone and diction” of the victim's writings made it appear the passages were created for the benefit of police investigating her claims.

She said the defense should be able to review the journal to determine when the entries were written.

Deputy Prosecutor Infinity Baulos said she didn't oppose the defense reviewing a physical copy of the journal entries determined to be evidentiary, but the defense shouldn't be able to peruse the entire journal.

The parties continued to argue the issue at the bench for 20 minutes.

Stracci then requested prosecutors provide the defense any journals made during the time the alleged rape was investigated.

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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.

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