Jury finds man guilty of sexual abuse in less than 20 minutes

September 10

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a jury deliberated for 20 minutes on Thursday before finding a Joliet man guilty of sexually abusing a teen-age girl in 2007 and 2008.

Leon Franklin, 37, was found guilty of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The charges allege he sexually abused the girl, who was 16-years-old at the time, on two occasions, once in December of 2007 and once in February of 2008.

The victim was in the care of an adult family friend when the sexual abuse occurred. Franklin also was living at the residence at the time.

The family friend arrived home to find Franklin partially undressed just after one of the incidents occurred, and she reported it to police. During an interview by a specialist at the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, the victim reported the other occasion during which she was sexually abused. 

Assistant State’s Attorneys Chris Messina and Derek Ewanic prosecuted the case.

“The fact that the jury came back in 20 minutes with a guilty verdict is a testament to the effectiveness of the statements obtained by the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Thanks to these two skilled prosecutors, we will be asking for a lengthy prison term for a dangerous predator who will forever be flagged as a registered sex offender.”

Franklin is scheduled to be sentenced by Associate Judge Robert Livas on Dec. 1. He faces up to 14 years in prison.