Prosecutors Drop Case Against Geneva Adult Cited for Allowing Underage Drinking Party

Judge rules police didn't have necessary permission to be on private property.

Prosecutors recently dropped the case against a Geneva father accused of allowing a drinking party at his home over homecoming weekend in 2011. Prosecutors cited a lack of evidence when motioning to dismiss the case against Robert Caruso, who was cited under a law aimed to hold parents accountable for underage drinking in their homes.

Caruso successfully argued to have statements and evidence against him thrown out on claims Geneva police officers didn't have necessary permission to be on his property when they first observed a beer bottle near teens and, later, talked to partygoers.

Prosecutors asked the judge to reconsider that ruling, arguing the bottle was visible from outside the property and that officers were within their rights while investigating an initial loud party complaint.

The denial of the reconsideration motion left prosecutors with nothing to move forward with in the case, prompting the dismissal.

Julie November 13, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Give me a break, Matt. While I understand your points, why insult Bob? I don't even know him, but all he did was comment on this article that Dan wrote. I think he was just trying to inject some humor with all that's been going on lately. I hate to break it to anyone that lives here, but Geneva is pretty tightly capped on anything that goes wrong in this town...it's kind of silly. People sometimes mess up...it's okay...we just need to learn from it. Personally, I would never allow my children or their friends to consume alcohol in my home. It's not responsible and I would never forgive myself if one of them caused harm to themselves or someone else.
Karl Brubaker November 13, 2012 at 03:26 AM
That thought is factually incorrect. Also, the demonizing of alcohol has been amazingly unproductive. A 20 year old man/woman can fight, kill and die for our country but they can't have a beer with their parents at dinner? Silly. Serving liquor to minors in a controlled environment with adult supervision in Illinois is perfectly legal. (e) The consumption of alcoholic liquor by any person under 21 years of age is forbidden. (f) Whoever violates any provisions of this Section shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. (g) The possession and dispensing, or consumption by a person under 21 years of age of alcoholic liquor in the performance of a religious service or ceremony, or the consumption by a person under 21 years of age under the direct supervision and approval of the parents or parent or those persons standing in loco parentis of such person under 21 years of age in the privacy of a home, is not prohibited by this Act. (Source: P.A. 95-166, eff. 1-1-08; 95-355, eff. 1-1-08.)
Mike November 13, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Since the prosecutors dropped the case I am assuming there was no underage drinking taking place at the Caruso home. Just a few opinions on serving minors - If you don't have the express approval of the parents of each kid to allow them to drink - you are violating the law and the trust that exists between parents in a community. If you allow any kid to drive after consuming alcohol in your home, you are violating the rights of every other driver on the road. If any of these kids are athletes that have signed a code of conduct that they will not drink alcohol - you have assisted them in breaking the conduct code. If players are suspended for breaking the conduct code - you have hindered the team and coaches. I suppose you should have also have express consent from all members of the team and coaching staff since your actions will be affecting them, too.
Geneva001 November 13, 2012 at 04:36 AM
It's over. It's done with. This was over a year ago. Nobody was allowed to leave the Caruso's house, nobody was out driving. Believe it or not, the Carusos are responsible parents who have raised two children who have excelled in school and in sports. They were never providing anyone under the age of 21 with alcohol. It was the cops who were wrong for coming onto private property without a warrant. Suspending three football players for one game has no relation to not going to State. & at least these "alcoholic" football players made it to the playoffs... please stop tearing down the football team, coaches, and families in this town, it's quite insulting and if anything, this sets a bad example for all of the children in this town. It's obvious that you are all ignorant to the facts. This whole case really does not matter anymore so please just leave it alone and move on with your lives.
Bob McQuillan November 13, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Genevaoo1 states: Nobody was allowed to leave the Caruso's house, nobody was out driving. They were never providing anyone under the age of 21 with alcohol. If there wasn't underage drinking going on, why wasn't anyone allowed to leave? Nope, that didn't probably didn't provide it, the kids brought it themselves. Interesting that no one has said that there was no drinking going on.Speaks volumes. I have heard the same story a hundred times - no one wants to take responsibility once they are caught. Geneva parents for years have looked the other way or even encouraged kids to drink at their house because they "will be safe." They are the cool parents to 17 and 18 year old kids. Until someone gets wrapped around a tree. "Mr. McQuillian I don't know you, nor do I care to know an ignorant, close minded individual such as yourself" Great statement Matt, really shows you are open minded. Sorry Matt, but you can't choose what laws you can decide to ignore. Don't need to have a discussion with a 19 year old on the issue of politics or the beauty of this country. Call me in 20 years when some parent allows your underage son or daughter to drink and god forbid they have an accident on the way home. I know your opinion will change. Next time you need the police to help with a robbery or some other criminal act at your home make sure they have your cell phone number. They can call to get your permission to come on your personal property and put their life in danger.
Thomas Peterson November 13, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Bob, You are closed minded. "Don't need a discussion with a 19 year old on politics or the beauty of this country" See you admit your ignorance. You are a bully behind the key board, but kind of a wimp on the outside. Matt gave you his cell number...Shoot him a call and open your mind. Youu mau learn something from the younger generation.
class of 2013 November 13, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I would like to address this issue of how this affected the football team there were plenty of football players at that party, Three got caught but many sat in the basement hiding with adults present Some of the higher profile players asked the rest of us to “not tell the coach I was there” then held a players meeting to call out the three ones that got caught and how we can’t do this “we need to come together” this fractured team now has three groups the, ones that got caught, the ones that were there, and the rest of us. Our team was never a “team” again YES IT AFFECTED US…..would it have changed the outcome who knows but it most certainly changed this football team. As for Matt and nick—you allowed your friends to carry the blame because they got caught. If you had any character at all you would have stepped up and take some responsibility after all you were just lucky to be the one that did not get caught How can Nick, being the son of the party planner get on that football field that Saturday and play knowing full well he was just a guilty I do believe that actions of a person shows there true identity . Nothing here to be proud of I am proud to have played for the 2012-2013 team we may have lost more than we won but we did it as a complete team No man left behind
Jon Azavedo November 13, 2012 at 05:03 PM
My guess is Marmarie Kostelny was not the presiding judge. The actual judge appears to know the law.........
Julie November 13, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Ick, Jon. Do we really need to write things like that? Surely you can write in a more appropriate manner. It's a shame this whole thing even happened and to have some kids arrested and not others, the people who held the party should at least feel guilty for them. What has happened to taking responsibility in this world?
Billy Pilgrim November 13, 2012 at 05:23 PM
The Geneva police displayed a disgraceful abuse of their power during this incident. The officers involved should be held accountable for their malfesance. After serving their punishment,perhaps they should be required to pass a test on search & seizure.
Bob McQuillan November 13, 2012 at 05:42 PM
class of 2013 Thanks for the correct explanation of what happened. And thanks for representing Geneva High by playing on the 2012-13 TEAM. In the long run, you are the lucky one.
Silence Dogood November 13, 2012 at 07:27 PM
http://www.kcchronicle.com/mobile/article.xml/articles/2012/01/31/50283391/index.xml No one can say he's not up front about having a chip on his shoulder.
Nick Caruso November 13, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Class of 2013 why are you afraid to use your real name, and how do any of the things that you say have any credibility? Also, as I recall your team had their fair share of locker room/ off the field problems. Probably more so than us. So you might want to look into your facts a little not more.
Andy Francis November 13, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Class of 2013, I thought that as your teammate last year you would show more respect for the young men who played their hearts out week in and week out for the team and the community last year. I am extremely disappointed in your comment. The meeting where we "held a players meeting to call out the three ones that got caught and how we can’t do this" is not accurate at all. The meeting was not about calling anyone out, but explaining what happened and that we have to be smart because now we have an even larger target on our back. I am actually shocked that anyone from this year’s team has the nerve to call any of us out as not being part of a team. Teams make mistakes, but the great ones overcome those mistakes and learn from them and become stronger from them as well. Obviously the message us seniors and coaches were trying to send didn't sink in well enough for the junior class.
Julie November 13, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Nick, I'm glad you had the decency to clean up your post from it's original version. If you hadn't, you might have sounded like a spoiled, selfish kid. (I got it emailed directly to my inbox) Terrible team player, if you ask me...on your unrevised post. @Jon, Gee, your wife is one lucky lady! Now, if I may stoop to your level, I'm sure she straps one on for you every night....and I'm not talking about a pad. Real nice!
Julie November 13, 2012 at 08:05 PM
@Sue-I'm with you! Kids are kids...and they all make poor choices sometimes..that's where we parents are supposed to step in and help them discover how their choices need to be the right ones moving forward. It's a touchy subject because we know some kids will drink...thus comes the logic of having them drink as a designated area where their safety can be guaranteed since they "are going to do it anyway" but even this has resulted in accidents and/or deaths. I also agree that sometimes the PD seems to be too interested in the young folks around here..but that happens in many, many small towns. Elburn is worse than Geneva, by far. In the end, I can only offer that I expect my kids to obey the law and if they get caught..well, then they will have to pay the consequences. I for one will never allow anyone under the age of 21 to drink at my home, but that's just me.
Colin C. November 13, 2012 at 08:46 PM
The leading causes of death for Americans under 25 are: accidents, homicide, and suicide. Overall, alcohol is implicated in one way or another in more than 50% of all these deaths. Include all the general violence, rapes, unprotected consensual sex, and other stupid things that intoxicated kids do and perhaps you might begin to see why teen drinking is usually not a great idea. The human brain does not mature fully until about age 25 (average). The last parts of the brain to mature are the those areas generally associated with higher levels of reasoning, judgement, foresight, and inhibition (i.e.maturity). They are also the first parts of the brain to be negatively effected by alcohol and other psychoactive drugs. One way to view this effect is to say that it actively regresses maturity. An 18 year old will tend to regress more, and more quickly than, say a 28 year old. So you serve 3 or 4 beers to an 18 year old and now you have the maturational equivalent of a 12 year old, with the keys to the car in his/her pocket. That's one reason those death rates are so high. Those 3 beers reduce reaction time about 1/2 a second, the difference between a close call and a bad crash in the car. One also loses a lot os night vision, peripheral vision, and hearing, all pretty helpful in avoiding accidents. Why do some equate the right to vote with the supposed right to ingest a sedative, addictive drug? Adults should be protecting kids, not endangering them.
Geneva001 November 13, 2012 at 09:08 PM
I thought you guys were adults...
Student November 13, 2012 at 10:35 PM
I would like to know how many of the adults on here never drank underage. You all act like you were perfect kids
Colin C. November 13, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Student, I understand completely and remember saying the exact same thing when I was in high school. What you have not yet experienced and, I hope, never do is the loss of friends and in my case, students. Over the forty years that I taught and worked with teens in various programs I attended an awful lot of funerals. Mostly car crashes, one homicide, several overdoses (alcohol, heroin), and several suicides. These kids were all friends of mine. I got sick of watching the same routine; their "friends" and classmates crying crocodile tears about how terrible it all was, then going off to someone's house to hold a wake where there was plenty of drinking going on. No, I was not "perfect". I drank enough to become an alcoholic by the time I was 25. So did a lot of others that I knew. I was lucky. I recovered eventually. Most of the others never made it. So, do this for me, don't judge those of us who learned the hard way until you have put on enough years and seen enough lives ruined to be able to say that you have really learned what it's all about. You don't have to learn the hard way. You can learn from other's experience. So, I wish you a safe and happy life. Good Luck!
Tyler Hickey November 13, 2012 at 11:55 PM
I was a member of the 2011 team, as well, and I couldn't be more proud to play for that team. Yes, mistakes were made, but the people that made these mistakes came forward, and apologized to the entire team. This isn't something new though. On a team of nearly 70 kids, something is bound to happen that will test the team’s strength. As I recall, the two weeks of practice before our state playoff game were the best two weeks of practice we ever had and we were as prepared to play that game as we could have possibly been. I decided to play football my sophomore year of high school and have no regrets. In fact, I was so blessed to play for the teams that I played for and learned so much, not just about the sport, but about life itself. High school football is not just about wins and losses; it’s about growing as a man. In my opinion, it's impossible to grow without some form of adversity and, I wholeheartedly believe we did that.
Tyler Hickey November 13, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Within that season, I saw a team of boys turn into a team of men. My best friends came from that team and I have seen them grow to be kind, intelligent, and caring people that excel in everything they do. It’s a shame that this conversation has become a criticism of the character of football players in Geneva. I feel very disrespected and a bunch of other players feel disrespected too. And I don’t think anyone condones drinking in high school, but in the real world things happen. Some of the people on this page need to step off their high horse and look themselves in the mirror. I’m sure none of you were perfect either, but you have learned from your mistakes just like we have. Saying that, I think that the football players from that team deserve more respect. I love my teammates, my coaches, and will always be proud to say that I was a part of the Geneva Viking football tradition.
Sue J November 14, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Tyler thank you for your thoughts. I think the criticism is directed more at the parents. Yes, teenagers make mistakes all the time. I made plenty of mistakes when I was a teenager. That is when you have to look to the parents/adults to take over and show the teenagers to take responsibility for their mistakes. I get the feeling that some of the parents of some of the players and some of the players feel that there was a cover up.
Shelby November 14, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Tyler, you wrote: " I don’t think anyone condones drinking in high school" Condone: to regard or treat something as acceptable, forgivable, or harmless Hmmm.
Tyler Hickey November 14, 2012 at 05:05 AM
I don't understand what your point is Shelby. Would you care to clarify?
Kathy November 14, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Please don't allow high school kids to drink in your home. My child does not have my permission, and you are not authorized to give him permission. It's illegal and it's harmful to him. I will not allow underage drinking in my home for those very reasons. If you don't care about my kid, then beware for yourself, because if something terrible happens to a kid drinking in your home, you are liable, regardless of what happened to the man mentioned in this article. He is just lucky that some kid didn't decide to get in a car and kill himself or someone else. Or over-imbibe enough to die from alcohol poisoning.
Colin C. November 14, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Does anyone remember the "Safe Homes" project? I think it was active in Geneva about 30 years ago? Here is how it works: Parents mutually agree to protect their own and other's children by promising to closely supervise all parties, not serve or allow alcohol or drug use, and call parents if they suspect that a child is using. The parents who wish to participate sign on and the list can be made readily available on the internet. This way parents know, without having to call, whose homes can be considered "safe" for parties and the like. This can be combined with a "Safe Rides" program. It might be something for the SADD people to look at. It will not stop teen alcohol and drug use but if enough families join it sends a powerful and unified message that we understand that use by teens is unacceptably dangerous for them and we will do everything that we can to protect them and keep them safe.
Ray Echer November 15, 2012 at 01:40 PM
The only way to stop deaths from alcohol abuse is to introduce these things earlier. Some European countries have a drinking age of 16, which helps with understanding that it isn't something extremely taboo, and it is something to be taken seriously. I can't say every student deciding to drink in Geneva is drinking responsibly -- most of them are drinking to get drunk. These students also, for the most part. are the ones getting high on the weekends. To my knowledge, these students are bad at academics as well. I hate to be the one generalizing, but it seems to be the students who like to be outright rude that are doing these things. They don't have respect, and they are the ones causing issues with verbal abuse and such. Maybe you parents don't hear about it, and some kids don't think they are being laughed at, but they really are. If you just stop and listen (yes, I am encouraging eavesdropping, as it seems to be the only way to understand the truth) you will hear some awful things. I'm sorry if I have been somewhat rude, but I can't help but express the correlation between underage drinkers/drug users and irresponsibility/disrespect.
Colin C. November 15, 2012 at 02:08 PM
My daughter lives in England. Her boyfriend is a German national and they both travel a lot on the Continent. They both have mentioned on several occasions that heavy, binge drinking among youth and resulting public drunken behavior is a real problem in nearly every city that they have visited.
Courtney Caruso November 22, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Tears have came to my eyes reading all the misinformed opinions that some of you have written about my dad. My dad is an incredible father and role model in my life. He has made a wonderful life for my family. There were many parents there, and none of them in any way were allowing teenage drinking. As for Bob McQuillan, you make me sick. My dad wouldn't sit behind a computer screen and berate a complete stranger, especially when he does not know anything close to the full/true story, so please get off your high horse and realize the awful, close minded things you say behind your computer screen. My father is more of a man than you will ever be because of that. Mistakes were made in this HOUSE, it does not mean that it is his fault. For so many of you to say such awful things about my dad is disgusting. As for the Class of 2013, I happen to know a couple of you in the beginning of the season who were penalized for drinking, and also some that continued to drink after the incident. It is incredibly hypocritical of you all, considering your representation of the football team this year was no where close to stellar. My brother and his friends are some of my biggest role models, and are like family to me. The younger generation that has commented on this post has turned out to act more mature than most of you, and I find that sad. I love my dad and all of the boys, and your comments are incredibly hurtful. Think before you type.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something