After six weeks the jury returned a damning verdict: guilty on 35 counts of rape, kidnapping and stalking. He was sentenced to 440 years, one of the longest sentences in Illinois history.
"I just felt it was important to have him be accountable to me, to my family, to the public for the things that he did. I have no doubt that the person sitting in jail right now, Mr. Pelo, is who is responsible for every single one of these attacks," said Kalmes-Gliege.
But Pelo's family says the jury got it wrong. "I don't think he did it," Rickie Pelo said.
"There wasn't DNA that said it was him. There wasn't any hard proof to say it was him, so I just don't understand how so many people have come to the conclusion that he's a bad person," said Shayla Pelo.
Rickie said she tries to shut out the present, fondly remembering the Jeff Pelo that she knew, the man she fell in love with when she was just 18.
"He had such a great sense of humor," she said. "Such a loving, caring heart. Actually, the first thing that I fell in love with are his eyes. His eyes were just beautiful, and I could just lose myself in them."
They're the same eyes that will stare at four walls in a small cell for the rest of his life, the eyes his victims say they cannot forget.