Saturday, March 29, 2014

Officer John T McCavitt Arrested Again for Unauthorized Videotaping

A Peoria police officer who was acquitted of rape charges last week has been arrested again — this time in connection with video recording a different alleged victim without permission.

    John T. McCavitt, 32, of 1710 W. Westaire Ave. was booked Friday into the Peoria County Jail on a felony charge of unauthorized videotaping.

    He admitted in testimony last week that he did not have his alleged victim’s permission in that case to take photographs or video recordings of their sexual encounter.

    But the new arrest stems from a different incident than the one for which he was previously charged, said Peoria police Capt. Mike Eddlemon.

    “We discovered some more information that hadn’t come to light, which led to the new criminal case,” Eddlemon said Friday. “It’s a totally different victim.”

    The evidence for the new case was uncovered during an internal investigation into McCavitt, which commenced after the criminal case concluded. The Peoria Police Department by policy waits to conduct an internal investigation until pending criminal matters against officers are resolved.

    McCavitt was taken into custody at 7:35 p.m. Friday in the 5900 block of North Sherwood Place, according to a news release from the department. Eddlemon said the alleged unauthorized video recording took place at McCavitt’s home on Westaire Avenue last year.

    When the allegation of sexual assault surfaced in July, the Illinois State Police were called in to investigate, and McCavitt was placed on paid administrative leave. The trial on that case commenced last week. A jury deliberated for only 40 minutes March 19 after a two-day trial before acquitting McCavitt of a charge of sexual assault.

    His alleged victim was an acquaintance who had been out drinking with McCavitt and his live-in girlfriend on the night of July 16 before the trio ended up back at McCavitt’s home early on the morning of July 17.

    The woman testified she went to sleep in a spare bedroom fully clothed and woke up in restraints before she was sexually assaulted. She claimed she “played possum” while she was being raped out of fear.

    McCavitt, however, told jurors the sex was consensual after she flirted with him, and he stopped and removed the restraints when the acquaintance asked him.

    The day after the alleged rape, McCavitt called in sick for his patrol shift, would not answer the door for Illinois State Police investigators and attempted to delete files from his phone and computer, according to court documents and trial testimony.

    McCavitt remains on leave from the department and will be kept on that status until the new criminal charges are resolved.

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