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Trial Begins for Prosecutor Accused of Drunkenly Biting Man at Sex Shop

By Erin Meyer | April 4, 2013 1:03pm | Updated on April 4, 2013 1:42pm
 Taboo Tabou, 854 W. Belmont Ave., is a lingerie and adult toy shop in Lakeview. 
Taboo Tabou, 854 W. Belmont Ave., is a lingerie and adult toy shop in Lakeview. 
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DNAinfo/Serena Dai

LAKEVIEW — A Cook County prosecutor accused of getting drunk, causing a ruckus in a Lakeview sex shop and then biting a man on the street outside went on trial this week — and new details of the bizarre, boozy night emerged.

A witness said an unruly Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Sarah Naughton, when told to leave the Taboo Tabou sex shop at 854 W. Belmont Ave., flashed her badge at the store manager and told her to back off.

Later, after the run-in turned physical outside, Naughton's boyfriend suffered a bad cut on his head and then wiped his own blood across the sex shop's window, the store manager testified on the first day of the trial at the courthouse at Belmont and Western Wednesday.

 Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Sarah Naughton and Bradley Gould rush to escape reporters Wednesday after the first day of their trial.
Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Sarah Naughton and Bradley Gould rush to escape reporters Wednesday after the first day of their trial.
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Erin Meyer

Naughton and her boyfriend, Bradley Gould, both ended up spending the night in jail. Naughton was charged with battery, resisting arrest, attempted official misconduct, criminal trespass, assault and disorderly conduct. She is now on desk duty.

Gould, an attorney who was 31 at the time of the incident, was charged with assault and battery.

The Illinois Attorney General's office is prosecuting the case because of the potential for a conflict of interest for the Cook County State's Attorney's office, Naughton's employer.

The incident played out on Sept. 22, 2012, after Naughton and Gould got drunk at a Cubs game and then went to the sex shop, prosecutors allege. Defense attorneys said they were there looking at Halloween costumes.

When asked to leave by the store manager, Dinah Pineda, Gould started calling her a "retard," and Naughton flashed a badge, warning the woman to back off, Pineda testified.

Outside the store, Gould and Naughton continued to yell at her, Pineda said. When an employee of a nearby store, Blue Havana, came to Pineda's aid, the altercation turned physical. Both Gould and Naughton were arrested shortly thereafter.

Lawyers for Naughton and Gould maintain "the wrong people were arrested."

Naughton and Gould, defense attorneys said, left Taboo Tabou without incident and were trying to catch a cab when they were assaulted by the man Naughton is accused of biting.

He "clocks my client; he's bleeding like a stuck pig," said defense attorney Jeff Aprati, adding that Naughton came to Gould's defense. "Thank God he's got a girlfriend like Sarah Naughton."

Attorneys on both sides agree that Naughton and Gould left Taboo Tabou shortly after 7 p.m. It's at that point that their accounts of what transpired diverge.

"I thought it was over," testified Pineda, the prosecution's first witness.

But several minutes after they left, Naughton poked her head inside Taboo Tabou's door and yelled "bitches," the store manager testified.

"A few seconds later, they were banging on the glass windows ... flicking us off [and] shouting," said Pineda, who decided to call for help from Blue Havana.

A Blue Havana employee known to Pineda as "Connie" came to her aid and "politely" asked the couple to stop bothering the Taboo Tabou staff, she said.

"It looked like it was getting heated," said Pineda, who was watching the scene unfold from inside the store.

She testified that Naughton started trying to "swing" at Connie but fell.

Gould pulled out his cellphone and started recording, said Pineda, while Naughton ran around screaming that she'd been assaulted by a man.

Gould stuck his camera in the Blue Havana employee's face, saying "Are you proud of yourself for hitting a woman?" Pineda said.

When Gould "tapped" him in the head with the cellphone, "Connie hit the phone out of his hand," she went on. Naughton tried to intervene but fell again, Pineda said.

Gould swung at Connie but missed, Pineda said. Connie landed his punch and Gould hit his head on the corner of Taboo Tabou's window frame, she testified.

Pineda called 911 again.

"I told them it's more intense; there's blood. You guys got to get here," she testified.

By then a crowd of people had gathered around Gould, who was bleeding "profusely" from his head.

Gould was "wiping blood from his head on the window" of Taboo Tabou when Naughton "charged" Connie, Pineda said. "Then I hear, 'She bit me, she bit me.'"

She said she saw Naughton "down by Connie's ankles."

Moments later police arrived and Naughton and Gould were arrested.

A video, "Drunk State's Attorney vs Cop," allegedly showing Naughton after the arrest, was posted online. In it, a blond woman yells about the pain of handcuffs and calls police officers names.

Naughton has been in the news before as the prosecutor in some high-profile cases, including animal welfare cases involving a miniature horse and critters housed at an animal rescue and sanctuary in Tinley Park.