January 13, 2006
JOLIET — A Wilmington woman took $10,000 to cover up the crime of a man who repeatedly raped her disabled teenage daughter for months, State's Attorney James Glasgow said Thursday.
"I've been doing this for 28 years, and I've never come across a case with allegations of this nature," Glasgow said after announcing the charges against 32-year-old Kimberly Riordan.
Riordan reportedly retained a twice-convicted sex offender to baby-sit her quadriplegic daughter. The sex offender, Larry Lee Southwood, 68, of Wilmington Township, raped the 14-year-old for the nine months leading up to his arrest Christmas Day, police said.
Southwood paid Riordan $10,000 to keep her from ratting him out to the cops, and she went along with the deal, lying to Detective Sgt. David Margliano, Glasgow said.
Riordan reportedly claimed she had no idea Southwood raped her daughter. She was charged with three felonies in connection with the incident — criminal neglect of a disabled person, obstructing justice and concealing a fugitive.
During a Thursday afternoon press conference, Glasgow repeatedly told of how appalling he found the events.
"The allegation of a sexual assault upon a child suffering from cerebral palsy and confined to a wheelchair followed by a mother accepting $10,000 to not report the sexual assault of her disabled daughter is unthinkable," he said.
Riordan has a son and another daughter, Glasgow said, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services took custody of all three children Wednesday night.
Riordan was to surrender to authorities Thursday, but took her time doing so. She did turn herself in by Thursday evening, was locked up on the charges and held in lieu of $250,000 bond.
The whereabouts of the disabled teen's father is not known, Glasgow said, and he might be in Mexico. It was not clear if the man fathered all three of Riordan's children.
The teen's condition might have been worsened by injuries suffered in a November 2001 car wreck, Glasgow said. Riordan was behind the wheel on Sunset Drive at Hamilton Street in Wilmington when she crossed into oncoming traffic and slammed into a ditch. Her then-10-year-old daughter and her son were in the car. They were not properly restrained, officials said, and both were seriously injured in the crash.
The daughter suffered a fractured right femur and a fractured left hip, which required surgery to repair. Her son suffered a broken jaw, which had to be wired shut during surgery.
Riordan was charged with aggravated driving under the influence in connection with the accident. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 months probation, which ended in July.
Riordan and Southwood met at an area truck stop, a source said, and struck up a relationship that led to the sex offender baby-sitting the teen.
Southwood's criminal past includes convictions for rape, attempted murder and sexual relations within families.
He was charged with raping one victim and assaulting another victim with intent to commit robbery in 1961 in Peoria County. He pleaded the charges down to rape and was sentenced to nine years, though he served less time.
In 1969, Southwood pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of a woman in Fulton County. He approached the woman's disabled vehicle and asked if she needed help, according to court papers. He stabbed the woman several times, but was scared off by the approaching headlights of a tow truck the woman had called for assistance. Southwood was sentenced to 15 to 16 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
In 1992, Southwood was arrested for passing his daughter off as his wife. The daughter, 22 years his junior, now lives in Braidwood, but says she has limited contact with her two children fathered by her father.
Southwood was sentenced to probation in that case.
Southwood's DNA was recently shipped off to be tested against samples taken from the body of Riley Fox, the 3-year-old Wilmington girl found slain in June 2004. Still, Southwood is not really on the radar, said Pat Barry, spokesman for the sheriff's department.
"He is not considered a suspect at all," Barry said.
Margliano, a member of the Channahon Police Department who also works for Glasgow's office, specializes in sex cases and was the man who took down Southwood in 1992 for carrying on a 15-year sexual relationship with his daughter.
"I'm just glad we could continue saving kids," Margliano said.
Both Riordan and Southwood were indicted Wednesday. Southwood saw two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse tacked onto the three counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault he has faced since his Christmas Day arrest. Southwood is looking at up to 97 years in prison.
Southwood's attorney, George Lenard, said he is conducting his own investigation of the case.
"A lot of what has been reported is in dispute," Lenard said.
Riordan's attorney, Kenneth Grnacek, did not return calls seeking comment Thursday.
Charles B. Pelkie
(815) 530-7110 (cellular)
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