Prosecutor and her boyfriend acquitted of battery charges
BY MAUREEN O’DONNELL AND ART GOLAB Staff Reporters April 5, 2013 7:14PM
Updated: May 7, 2013 6:16AM
A judge acquitted a Cook County prosecutor and her boyfriend of all counts against them Friday involving a scuffle in which she was accused of sinking her teeth into a man’s leg.
Associate Judge Anthony John Calabrese made the ruling after testimony that painted a less-than-pretty picture of Sarah Naughton and Bradley Gould’s Sept. 22 night out.
Defense attorneys Jeffrey Aprati and Rick Bueke said Naughton and Gould, both 31 at the time, were battered in an overly zealous eviction from a lingerie store.
At least three witnesses Friday suggested Naughton and her boyfriend, Gould, appeared drunk and out-of-control outside Taboo Tabou, 854 W. Belmont. David Boone said Naughton bit his leg during the scuffle, requiring him to get a tetanus shot.
And Naughton kept telling people she was an assistant state’s attorney, according to testimony presented by prosecutor Daniel Nikolic, a member of the Illinois attorney general’s office.
By Gould’s own testimony, the night started to unravel when a Taboo Tabou staffer asked them to leave the shop, saying: “We think you’ve been drinking.”
Boone, 35, manager of the Blue Havana cigar store at 856 W. Belmont, testified he received a call from a Taboo Tabou employee, asking for help with a couple causing a disturbance.
When he tried to get the couple to leave, Boone said, Naughton lunged at him. Gould started filming him with a cellphone, which hit him on the head, Boone said, and Gould allegedly came at him with a closed fist. Boone said he pushed Naughton down and struck Gould in the head in defense.
Boone said they would not listen to reason or questions to move along. “I was willing to say I was a rainbow-colored leprechaun just to get them out of here,” he said .
But Bueke and Aprati suggested the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Boone manhandled the smaller Gould and the 100-pound Naughton, whom Aprati called “this little waif.”
Police officers testified Naughton was verbally abusive and not making sense. “She called me a c---, a b----, a whore, a d--- and perhaps a few other things,” said Officer Anita Whicher.
Video footage from that night, played in court, showed Naughton crying and handcuffed on the curb, rocking back and forth, and shouting “You are a f------ whore!”
Other footage, from inside a police car, showed Naughton wriggling her way out of handcuffs within roughly 90 seconds. At one point, she swung her legs, losing a shoe, and could be seen banging her bare foot against the inside of the police car’s door, and slapping at an officer who leaned into the vehicle.
However, Calabrese said video indicated that Boone struck the first blow. He also said witnesses testifying about the fight had connections to the store.
“Is it possible that an astute business man might recognize that his employee had stepped out of the store and potentially beaten up two lawyers in the street?” the judge asked. “I wonder that if the conclusion reached was that the only way to forstall a lawsuit was to make sure that at all costs the defendants are convicted.”
“My people acted appropriately,” said store owner Mark Thomas, who suggested political influence was in play. “This judge showed favoritism from the very first day in court to these folks.”
For much of Friday, Naughton’s father, Gino P. Naughton, a former Cook County prosecutor, sat in the front row, where he conferred often with the defense attorneys.
As of Friday, Naughton remained on desk duty, according to the state’s attorney’s office.