Dale Fry, the Oswego High School teacher convicted last year of sexually abusing a female student, testified in Kendall County court Wednesday that his battle with erectile dysfunction was a factor that was never brought forward in his trial, and could have played a key role in his defense.
In a post-trial hearing to determine whether Fry could receive a new trial with a new attorney, the Woodridge resident said he had been struggling with a decreased sexual drive, hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction since about 2000. Fry also said his previous attorney, Philip Nathe of Naperville, told him that his medical condition would have no bearing on the case.
“I thought it was important enough that it be brought up because of the charges against me,” Fry said.
Fry was convicted on two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and one count of criminal sexual assault last year after engaging in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student dating back to March 2009.
He was found guilty by 16th Circuit Court Judge John Barsanti after a two-day bench trial that included testimony from the victim and a witness of one of the acts of abuse.
A relationship between Fry and the girl began in February 2009 on the girl’s 17th birthday when Fry obtained the girl’s cell phone number and began texting her, Assistant State’s Attorney Nemura Pencyla said during closing arguments in July.
The relationship escalated when Fry kissed the girl in a school elevator in March 2009, prosecutors say. He kissed and fondled the girl’s breasts, again on school grounds, in May 2009, Pencyla said.
On Sept. 10, 2009, Fry forced the girl to perform a sex act after school in his classroom, Pencyla said. A school custodian walked in during the incident and said she witnessed Fry tucking in his shirt and buttoning his pants.
Nathe also was called to testify. He said even through Fry told him of decreased sexual drive, among many other ailments, erectile dysfunction was never discussed.
After the guilty verdict, Fry hired a new attorney, Larry Wechter of Geneva. Wechter was given the opportunity to review the transcripts of the case and Nathe’s notes, and the trial entered post-trial motions late last year.
On Wednesday, Wechter also called Fry’s wife, Lesley, to testify about medical records showing his condition dating back to 2004. She presented a pill bottle filled with Fry’s prescription for Viagra. That prescription dated to September 2010, a full year after the allegations against Fry surfaced. Lesley Fry said she could find no other prescriptions for the erectile dysfunction medication dating before then.
Wechter asked Barsanti for another continuance in the case so that he may have more time to review further notes Nathe presented Wednesday. Barsanti refused, giving Wechter 10 minutes to study the notes. Pencyla said Wechter was only trying to drag the case out even further.
“This is just another attempt to prolong this case and inconvenience the victim and the witnesses in this case,” he said.
At the end of an afternoon of testimony, Barsanti did continue the case until July 12. Barsanti may rule at that time if a new trial is warranted. He may also choose to sentence Fry on that date.