Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that a jury on Thursday, September 28th found Mario Chavez, Jr., 31, of Joliet, guilty of three counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse (a Class 2 felony) of a then 14-year-old girl in 2017. Circuit Court Judge Daniel Rippy presided over the trial. Sentencing on the matter is scheduled for November 30, 2023. The sentencing range is probation or 3 to 7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for each count.
Glasgow commended Assistant State’s Attorneys Jeffrey Brown and Amanda Tasker, Director of Victim Witness Services Nichole Pasteris and Victim Witness Advocate Mallory Magee, Joliet Police Department Detective Patrick Schumacher, and Illinois State Police Forensic Scientist Kelly Krajnik. Glasgow also commended Will County Children’s Advocacy Center Executive Director Lisa Las, Assistant Director and Forensic Interviewer Jaclyn Lundquist, and the entire CAC for their commitment and hard work in all aspects of this sensitive case, from interviewing and counseling, to donating items to the victim and her family.
The CAC was established by Glasgow in 1995 to offer services and advocacy to children who are victims of sexual abuse and severe physical abuse. Forensic interviews of children are conducted at the CAC after there has been a report to law enforcement or DCFS of severe physical abuse, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, child pornography, neglect, or exposure to violence. The CAC uses a collaborative approach to taking a child’s statement with multi-disciplinary team members that include law enforcement, mental health professionals, prosecution, and child protective services (DCFS), with the child telling their story once to a trained forensic interviewer who asks the questions in a non-leading manner in a way that does not re-traumatize the child. This protects the integrity of the information gathered and allows prosecutors and investigators to thoroughly assess possible criminal offenses that may have been committed.
Annually, the Will County CAC serves more than 700 children who have endured physical and sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, child pornography, neglect, and exposure to violence.