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May 13, 2011

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN: CHICAGO MAN RULED SEXUALLY VIOLENT, DETAINED FOR TREATMENT

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that it took a Cook County jury 38 minutes this week to declare a Chicago man a sexually violent person (SVP).

Circuit Court Judge Michael McHale presided over the trial that began Tuesday in which the jury ruled that Jake Simmons, 40, must remain in the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) for treatment. Madigan’s office handles state prosecutions of cases to keep sexually violent persons in custody.

“This is a defendant who has a long history of sexual abuse, including his most recent offense against a young boy,” Madigan said. “It is clear from the evidence that he remains a threat to society and must continue to receive treatment in a secure facility.”

Simmons, who uses a wheelchair, was convicted in 2001 of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a young boy. He was sentenced to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, which he served concurrently with a three-year sentence for an earlier conviction for failure to register as a sex offender.

In July 2005, as Simmons was nearing completion of his incarceration, Attorney General Madigan’s office and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office filed a petition for Sexually Violent Person Commitment. Simmons was detained at the Rushville Treatment and Detention Facility until trial. Following Wednesday’s verdict, Judge McHale imposed disposition and committed Simmons to the care and custody of IDHS.

To be committed under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, a person must have been convicted of a sexually violent offense and exhibit a mental disorder. Additionally, prosecutors must prove that the offender is likely to commit future acts of sexual violence if released from custody. Once committed to IDHS, offenders are reevaluated on a regular basis to determine if they continue to meet the criteria for commitment as a sexually violent person.

Since enactment of the Act, 296 convicted sex offenders have been committed as sexually violent persons. Madigan’s office currently has an additional 174 petitions filed with the courts seeking commitment of offenders who otherwise would be released from prison.

Assistant Attorney General Renee Snow handled the case for Madigan=s Sexually Violent Persons Bureau.

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