The former Chicago Ridge deputy fire chief accused of the attempted murder and attempted rape of his Tinley Park neighbor pleaded not guilty to felony charges in a Bridgeview courtroom Thursday, Feb. 7.
Gary Swiercz, 50, entered his plea in Judge John J. Hynes' Bridgeview courtroom standing next to his attorney Colleen McSweeney-Moore. He is and is on electronic home monitoring.
His felony indictment includes two counts of attempted murder, three counts of home invasion, seven counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two counts of residential burglary and one count of aggravated unlawful restraint, according to court records.
Swiercz was wearing a ski mask when he allegedly broke into his neighbor's apartment in the early morning hours of Jan. 5. He was reportedly carrying a knife, rope, zip ties and duct tape. Prosecutors said in previous reports that Swiercz put a knife to the victim's throat and then tried to sexually assault her. They said he left the apartment after a scuffle with the woman.
During Thursday's hearing, attorneys for both sides exchanged some subpoenaed evidence, Hynes said, which appeared to include DVDs from Tinley Park police.
McSweeney-Moore asked Hynes to modify Swiercz's home monitoring order, which was granted without an objection from prosecutors. The details weren't discussed in open court but defense counsel told Patch after the hearing the order was modified so that Swiercz can do things such as go to the doctor and renew his driver's license.
She declined further comment about the case.
Swiercz's next court date has been set for March 26.
Fan of Crime Stories? You'll want to like our Crime-n-Shame Facebook page.