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July 22, 2010

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN: JURY RULES PEKIN MAN A
SEXUALLY VIOLENT PERSON

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that it took a Tazewell County jury no more than one hour Tuesday to declare a Pekin man a sexually violent person (SVP).

Circuit Court Judge Michael E. Brandt presided over the jury trial that began Monday in Pekin in which the jury ruled that Jerry A. Jefford, 36, 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 individual needs rigorous supervision for the crimes of attempted predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and solicitation of a child for which he was convicted in 2003,” Madigan said. “He simply cannot be allowed to return to society.”

Jefford was sentenced to a total of eight years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) on the Tazewell County convictions. In February 2006, as Jefford was nearing completion of his incarceration, Attorney General Madigan’s office filed a petition for commitment and Jefford was detained at the Rushville Treatment and Detention Facility until trial. Following Tuesday’s verdict, Judge Brandt ordered that Jefford remain in the custody of IDHS and set the case for a dispositional hearing on August 26, 2010.

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, 269 convicted sex offenders have been committed as sexually violent persons. Madigan’s office currently has an additional 162 petitions filed with the courts seeking commitment of offenders who otherwise would be released from prison.

Assistant Attorneys General Patrick O’Brien and Kathleen Nolan handled the case for Madigan=s Sexually Violent Persons Bureau.

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