December 15, 2006
JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a traveling telephone book distributor who was convicted of sexually molesting a young boy at the Empress Casino Hotel in Joliet has been sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Donald Collins, 53, was convicted in September on two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and one count of criminal sexual assault. Associate Judge Robert Livas handed down the maximum allowable prison sentence under law.
Collins, who had been befriended by the victim’s family, sexually abused the boy on two separate occasions at the hotel in 2002 and 2003. However, testimony during his September trial revealed Collins had abused the youth on hundreds of occasions over the years in jurisdictions in Illinois and in other states.
The family allowed the youth to travel with Collins to other states while he distributed telephone books. The defendant also tried to control the boy’s life by checking on him at school functions and forcing the youth to call him when he came home for the evening.
Prosecutors noted that Collins terrorized the victim, threatening to sexual abuse his younger siblings, including a physically disabled child, if he spoke out against him. The youth lived in Grundy County at the time of the abuse.
“Donald Collins preyed repeatedly on a vulnerable boy,” Glasgow said. “The sexual abuse this victim suffered at the hands of this depraved man is incomprehensible. Collins deserves to serve the maximum sentence. The children in our community will be safer with him behind bars.”
The multi-jurisdictional investigation into the abuse allegations was headed by District 5 State Police Detective Jeff Liskh.
The trial was prosecuted by Lea Norbut-Sicinski, who heads Glasgow’s criminal division, and Assistant State’s Attorney Alyson DeBell. Will County is the only jurisdiction to secure a conviction against Collins stemming from the investigation.
Collins has prior convictions that include fondling a child in the early 1980s in Florida.
Collins also will be required to register as a sex offender for life. Sex offender registries were not in effect when he was convicted in Florida.
Charles B. Pelkie
(815) 530-7110 (cellular)
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