By RICK HAYES
MT. VERNON — —
A jury of six women and six men were selected Wednesday to hear evidence in the retrial of 38-year-old Albert Rainey of Mt. Vernon.
Jury selection was completed around 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday after a pool of about 70 potential jurors were called to the Jefferson County Courthouse.
Two alternates — both men — were also selected, according to court officials.
Opening arguments are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. today in Rainey's trial, which was sent back to the local court by the Fifth District Court of Appeals, following his conviction in 2007.
Rainey is charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in 2006. The charges stem from a November incident in which Rainey is accused of committing an act of sexual penetration with a female under the age of 13. Rainey had entered an open plea to the charges and was sentenced to 27 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The conviction was overturned due to a technicality in the way Rainey's sentences were rendered. Rainey's attorney at the time, Bob Verhines, negotiated a plea to one of the counts, and the assistant state's attorney wanted guilty pleas to both counts. Neither the assistant state's attorney or Verhines told Rainey at the time that his pleading would result in consecutive sentences, according to court records.
The Appellate Court decision states the judge admonished Rainey about possible sentences "without informing him that his pleas of guilty on two counts …requires imposition of mandatory consecutive sentences."
Rainey has been held in Jefferson County custody since his arrest. Following his conviction, he was in IDOC custody, but then transferred back to the county after the appeal decision was rendered.