Lawyer found guilty of sexual assault of woman visiting for Lollapalooza
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter February 28, 2014 2:07PM
Anthony Bergamino / photo from the Cook County Sheriff's office
Updated: April 2, 2014 6:12AM
A real estate attorney Friday night was found guilty of criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse for his predatory attack on a young out-of-town woman at the W Chicago Lakeshore.
Anthony Bergamino, who was accused by Cook County prosecutors of trying to cover up evidence of the crime by slathering his hand in Carmex lip balm, was taken into custody following the verdicts.
Jurors acquitted the 51-year-old of residential burglary for what authorities described as a break-in before he pounced on the unsuspecting woman who was visiting the city for a work conference and Lollapalooza.
Earlier in the day during closing arguments, Assistant State’s Attorney Tracy Senica said Bergamino’s “baloney” account that the victim grabbed his hand, pulled him into her dark hotel room and voluntarily jumped into bed with him “sounds like the poorly written plot of an adult movie.”
Meanwhile, defense attorney Jeffrey Urdangen said the woman’s story about what unfolded in the early morning hours of Aug. 7, 2012, had “glaring inexplicable inconsistencies.”
Urdangen said his client was “obviously horny and obviously stupid” but argued that the interaction between the pair was consensual.
The Minnesota woman, now 25, testified that Bergamino, whom she said she never met, barged into her room and attacked her.
She explained to jurors that minutes before, she had propped her door open so a college classmate could easily come in whenever the friend reached the Streeterville hotel, 644 N. Lake Shore Drive.
Bergamino testified that he had met the woman a few hours earlier outside and that she had invited him to come to the hotel bar with her and her friends and gave him her room number.
The University of Chicago law school graduate admitted he kissed and touched the woman but said he never fondled her as she claimed.
When she tensed up saying her friend was going to arrive, Bergamino said he stopped and even said, “no means no” and left her room.
But Assistant State’s Attorney Shawn Concannon said, “There was never a ‘yes’ in this case … He was uninvited absolutely.”
Concannon and Senica ridiculed Bergamino’s claim that he used Carmex to clean his hand at the 18th District police station because there was no running water available in the restroom.
Bergamino, who refused to let evidence technicians swab his hand, said he was a “germaphobe” and would have even used dirt to rinse his hand if it were available.
Concannon said if Bergamino was such a germaphobe, why did he agree to make out with a woman he said he just met.
“He is not the MacGyver of germaphobes. He is the rapist destroying evidence,” Senica argued.
“….You cannot waltz into someone’s hotel room, force yourself on them and come to the conclusion that it was a fanciful dalliance.”
Bergamino faces 5 to 18 years in prison.