Joliet man gets life in prison for sexually assaulting two little girlsJOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a Joliet man convicted of sexually assaulting two little girls was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday (July 28, 2009).
Gregory Simpson, 51, was found guilty on Dec. 11 of two Class X counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Simpson sexually assaulted the two girls while they were staying at his home.
The sexual assaults occurred while the girls were at Simpson’s home sometime between 2004 and 2006. The girls, who are sisters, were in kindergarten and third grade at the time.
State law mandates a sentence of natural life in prison if a defendant is convicted of more than one count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child involving two or more victims. Associate Judge Robert Livas handed down the sentence.
An educational program adopted by the Laraway School District was instrumental in uncovering the allegations of child sexual assault that enabled prosecutors to convict Simpson.
One of the girls first reported the allegations to adult family members who failed to take action. However, a DVD program implemented by the district brought this case to the attention of authorities in May. The program is called, “Think Before You Click: Playing It Safe Online,” and it focuses on Internet safety, including a segment dealing with on-line predators. It was first presented to students in fourth grade on up in May 2008.
After viewing the DVD, one of the victims confided to her friend about what Simpson had done. The friend told her teacher of the conversation. The teacher informed school administrators, who reported the allegations to the Joliet Police Department for investigation.
“The district’s proactive program brought these allegations to light and helped police and my prosecutors arrest and convict a sexual predator,” Glasgow said. “One of the victims also wisely chose a good friend who bravely reported these allegations to her teacher.”
After the allegations were reported, the two sisters gave videotaped statements to a trained forensic interviewer at the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center. Those statements, which were played during Simpson’s trial, were critical pieces of evidence that enabled jurors to reach a guilty verdict.
In addition, Assistant State’s Attorneys Alyson DeBell and Anna Rossi as well as Victim Witness Advocate Kelly Sullivan worked closely with the little girls to ease their fears about testifying at trial.