Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rock Island

A former criminal prosecutor has been charged with ethical violations alleging misconduct  with an underage victim/witness and her friend. He was the State's Attorney for Rock Island County.

The Illinois Administrator's complaint states that the attorney prosecuted and convicted a high school teacher charged with having sex with a student. The specifics:

Between May 10, 2010, and October 2010, Respondent exchanged numerous phone calls and text messages with JW [the victim] and BY [her friend]. Some of the calls and text messages related to requests by JW and BY that Respondent supply them with alcohol.

In some of the text messages sent by Respondent, he made false representations to JW and BY, including falsely claiming that he was divorced and that he had a girlfriend he was dating regularly. At the time Respondent was exchanging calls and text messages with JW and BY, he was married and had one child.

In or around late June or early July, 2010, Respondent spoke to JW by telephone and JW invited Respondent to attend a party at BY’s home, while BY’s parents were out of town. Respondent drove to the party around midnight where he spoke to JW.

Between July 1, 2010 and August 15, 2010, Respondent provided alcohol to JW and BY on at least five occasions. On each occasion, Respondent and JW or BY exchanged text messages or phone calls and then met in a parking lot or a park in the East Moline area where Respondent provided the girls with alcohol (usually Mike’s Hard Lemonade or Smirnoff Twist). Respondent knew that JW was 16 years old at the time and BY was 19 years old and that neither was old enough to lawfully consume alcohol.

During the week of July 12, 2010, Respondent was scheduled to attend a continuing legal education seminar for prosecutors at the University of Illinois in Champaign.

On Wednesday, July 14, 2010, Respondent drove JW and BY to Champaign. JW and BY stayed in Respondent’s hotel room with Respondent on Wednesday night, July 14, and Thursday night, July 15, 2010. Respondent did not advise either of the girls’ parents about the trip. He provided both minors with alcohol on the trip, during which he also accompanied them to a bar in Champaign.

Respondent provided JW and BY with alcohol on other occasions after July 16, 2010, including supplying JW with alcohol at Mitchell Park in East Moline, Illinois, on August 15, 2010. A copy of some of the text messages sent between Respondent [JT] and JW prior to the meeting in Mitchell Park on August 15, 2010 are attached as Exhibit 1.

On or about August 20, 2010, Respondent learned that the Illinois State Police were investigating his conduct with respect to JW and BY. He did not provide either JW or BY with alcohol after August 20, 2010.

On April 26, 2011, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office filed a criminal complaint against Respondent in the Circuit Court of Rock Island County, charging him with one count of Unlawful Delivery Of Alcoholic Liquor To A Person Under The Age of 21, a Class A misdemeanor, in violation of ILCS ch. 235, sec. 5/6-16(a)(iii)...

On April 26, 2011, Respondent pled guilty to the charge alleged in the complaint and he was sentenced to two years of probation with conditions, including the payment of court costs and a $2,500 fine. The Court also ordered that Respondent forfeit any future pension from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, and ordered that he not seek public office at any time in the future.

The complaint further alleges that he lied to investigators about the events.

River Cities' Reader reports on his resignation from office.

The title is for Paul Burgoyne, who always likes a Music Man reference. (Mike Frisch)

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