Highland Park Crash Suspect Released After Posting Bond
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Updated 09/11/12 – 9:34 p.m.
WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) — The young woman accused of running over and killing a 5-year-old girl in Highland Park on Labor Day, after allegedly huffing computer cleaning spray, has been released on $50,000 bond.
Carly Rousso, 18, has been cited with misdemeanor DUI, and could still face felony charges of aggravated DUI and reckless homicide. She appeared in court on Tuesday after prosecutors requested a higher bond, and a curfew of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
A Lake County judge agreed to the curfew and raised her bond from a $3,000 recognizance bond to a $50,000 bond — requiring her family to post $5,000 for her to be released.
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She also has to submit to random testing and home visits from authorities. She will be allowed to go to her college classes in the morning, but her parents must drive her, as she is not allowed to drive. Only her parents may drive her – no uncles, aunts or cousins.
She will also be allowed to go to drug treatment classes at night, but needs to be home at 9 p.m.
Dressed in a black business suit, Rousso walked silently to a waiting car on Tuesday, after her parents posted her bond.
Her father offered condolences to the victim’s family.
“My heart grieves for the family. We are absolutely devastated for the family. This is so difficult for everyone,” Dave Rousso said.
Sources told CBS 2 News Rousso might have been trying to get high by inhaling computer cleaning spray when she drove onto the sidewalk and ran into the Sacramento family, killing Jaclyn Santo Sacramento and injuring her mother and two younger brothers.
Sources also said Rousso has a history of drug abuse. If toxicology results show she was high at the time of the accident, she could face felony charges.
“The offense of aggravated DUI could be charged. Reckless homicide could be charged,” said Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Ken LaRue.
Jaclyn was buried Tuesday. Her mother and other family members wept as they stood behind the hearse that held the kindergartner’s body.
Rousso’s father is on the board of the Arts Center Highland Park, and her mother is the executive director there. Both were in court, and both declined comment.
The case has prompted criticism that a privileged defendant is getting a break. Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering has been among those to complain about perceived leniency that Rousso has received from the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office.
“The decision to file charges is made by the Lake County State’s Attorney,” Rotering wrote. “Releasing the driver with no restrictions was a decision of the State’s Attorney. This was a mistake and we are demanding an explanation.”
Lake County authorities said they’re in constant contact with Rousso’s parents. They will be notified first, if she is charged with a felony.
Meanwhile, a fund has been set up for Jaclyn’s family.
Donations should be noted to the benefit of the Santos family and mailed to the Highland Park Community Foundation, PO Box 398, Highland Park, Illinois. Donations can also be on‐line.
Rousso is due back in court Oct. 5.