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Local News

Braidwood couple pleads guilty to sexually assaulting boy

A Braidwood couple pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault because the girlfriend planned to testify against her boyfriend, according to court records.

On Dec. 5, Tabitha Ledwa, 44, and David Zauratsky, 45, pleaded guilty to criminal sexual assault of a teen boy.

As part of the plea, charges of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse were dismissed.

A charge of aggravated domestic battery that accused Zauratsky of choking the victim also was dropped.

Ledwa and Zauratsky were scheduled to go on trial together before a jury on Dec. 10.

However, Zauratsky’s attorney, Michael Renzi, filed a motion on Dec. 4 for Zauratsky to have a separate trial.

The motion alleged that on “information and belief,” Ledwa planned to testify and blame Zauratsky for forcing her to participate in the sexual abuse of a minor. Six of the nine charges in the indictment allege Ledwa engaged in several sexual acts with the boy.

Renzi’s motion argued that Ledwa would rely on an affirmative defense and if both defendants were tried together, it would deprive Zauratsky “of his right of presumption of innocence” and the “threat of prejudice” against him would be great.

Michelle Palaro, the spokeswoman for the Will County Public Defender’s office, said Ledwa’s allegation against Zauratsky would have been her attorney Timothy Specht’s argument.

Calls to Renzi were not returned.

The couple were arrested Dec. 2, 2016, after a Braidwood police investigation.

Their sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 20.

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