Former Sterling man charged with invading Sterling home, sexually assaulting woman at knifepoint

Michael Cover

MORRISON – A former Sterling man already jailed in Whiteside County since late March on a charge of violating a protective order now has been accused of entering a Sterling home earlier that month, sexually assaulting a woman at knifepoint and threatening to kill her.

Michael C. Cover, 30, whose latest address lists him as residing in Rockford, was formally charged May 14 with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual assault, two counts of home invasion, two counts of domestic battery causing bodily harm and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in connection with the home invasion and assault that authorities allege happened March 17. Cover made his first court appearance Wednesday morning in Whiteside County Court on those charges.

Court documents filed in the March 17 case indicate Cover was convicted of domestic battery four previous times in Lee County: December 2011, November 2012, June 2016 and January 2019.

Cover has been in custody since the end of March for a separate case that accuses him of violating an order of protection issued March 13. He is accused of violating the order of protection on March 25 by approaching the same residence that he later would be accused of invading March 17. He appeared in court on the order of protection violation charge March 26 and has been in custody since that time, according to court records. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

He will remain jailed in Whiteside County pending a detention hearing set for 1 p.m. May 31. A preliminary hearing on the nine felony counts is scheduled for 1 p.m. June 3.

His pretrial conference in the protective order violation case was continued to 9 a.m. June 12, with a jury trial set for July 9.

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Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema is the editor of Sauk Valley Media.