Telephone book distributor sentenced to 22 years for sexually abusing minor

December 15

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.

Saltzman sentenced to 79 years for murdering former county treasurer

December 21

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced Tuesday that the man who brutally beat to death former Will County Treasurer Jack Weber has been sentenced to 79 years in prison.

Circuit Judge Richard Schoenstedt handed down the sentence for Brent Saltzman, 27, formerly of Shorewood, at the conclusion of a hearing late Tuesday afternoon. Saltzman must serve 100 percent of his sentence.

A jury deliberated for three hours following a trial in September before finding Saltzman guilty of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder for the Oct. 8, 2000 beating that caused Weber’s death.

Weber, a popular elected official who was 63-years-old at the time of the attack, suffered massive head injuries from which he never fully recovered. Weber died from a blood clot on Sept. 12, 2002 after spending nearly two years in a nursing home, where he required around-the-clock medical care.

Weber had married Saltzman’s mother, Bonnie Saltzman. Brent Saltzman was living with his mother and Weber at the county treasurer’s Shorewood home at the time of the attack.

Saltzman was celebrating his 21st birthday and had become enraged during an argument with his stepfather. Jack and Bonnie Weber locked themselves in their master bedroom in an attempt to escape Saltzman’s fury. The assailant, however, kicked through the door, which had been locked with a deadbolt, and chased Weber into his master bathroom.

The powerfully built Saltzman, who was 6-foot, 2-inches tall and weighed 210 pounds, then struck the county treasurer with his elbow, threw him to the bathroom floor and began striking him repeatedly in the head. A brain surgeon who treated Weber following the attack compared his injuries to those a driver who was not wearing a seat belt might suffer in a high-speed collision.

Saltzman’s beating was so brutal that he broke the petrous bones on each side of Weber’s face. These bones, which are located near the ears, are the hardest bones in the human body. Assistant State’s Attorneys Neil Adams, who heads Glasgow’s felony division, and Frank Byers argued at the September trial that the force of Saltzman’s blows and the damage they caused showed the defendant intended to kill Weber.

The two prosecutors also presented medical evidence that showed Weber died from a blood clot that resulted from the sedentary life forced upon him by Saltzman’s beating. The county treasurer could not stand without assistance and required constant medical care in a nursing home following the attack.

“Brent Saltzman brutally attacked and killed the man who had welcomed him into his home,” Glasgow said. “For this act of kindness, Saltzman shattered Jack’s life and broke the hearts of his stepfather’s family members. He deserves every minute he spends behind bars for this vicious murder.”

Glasgow continued: “Jack Weber was a fine and decent man. As one of our most respected public officials, he always treated everyone with dignity and respect.  His tragic death was a true loss felt throughout our community.”

The state’s attorney said he hopes the sentence brings some sense of closure for Weber’s family, particularly his daughters, Sue Dienslake and Judith Weber.

“These two strong women have now seen justice served after enduring six years of court appearances that pulled up painful memories of this abominable attack,” the state’s attorney said. “Clearly nothing can restore their beloved father to them, but hopefully the sentence brings a sense of finality regarding the punishment for the cold-blooded killer who murdered him.”

Glasgow praised his attorneys for conveying the brutality of the beating and for clearly presenting complicated medical evidence that enabled jurors to return guilty verdicts.

Saltzman was convicted of attempted murder in early 2002 in connection with Weber’s beating and received a 28-year sentence. The charge, however, was upgraded to first-degree murder, and the case was scheduled for a new trial after the county treasurer died in September 2002.

IDOC inmate convicted of murdering his cellmate

December 1

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a jury late Thursday found a former Stateville Correctional Center inmate guilty of murdering his cellmate in 1998.

John Allison, 38, is currently serving a 26-year sentence for a murder he committed in Cook County. Allison is eligible for parole in 2016 for the Cook County murder.

But the conviction secured Thursday by Assistant State’s Attorneys Michael Fitzgerald and Chris Koch will guarantee that Allison spends the rest of his life in prison. The sentence is mandatory life in prison for a person who is convicted of committing a second murder.

“John Allison is so volatile and violent that he poses a lethal menace even to his fellow prison inmates,” Glasgow said. “He is a pathological killer who has forever forfeited any right to walk free on our streets. Thursday’s conviction ensures that he never will.”

Allison strangled Michael Hampton to death overnight on Aug. 19, 1998 in the cell they shared at Stateville. Correctional officers found Hampton dead on the floor when they were making the morning rounds.

Allison initially refused to make a statement regarding Hampton’s death. But eventually, he told a corrections investigator that he had done something to his cellmate.

Prosecutors had to wait seven years for Allison to be deemed mentally fit before they could take the murder case to trial.

Allison currently is serving his sentence for the Cook County murder at Dixon Correctional Center.

He is scheduled to be sentenced by Circuit Judge Richard Schoenstedt for the Stateville murder on Feb. 7.

Man gets 30 years for sexually assaulting child

November 21

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced Tuesday that a Joliet man who was recently convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl in 1999 and 2000 was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Willie Johnson, 24, of the 400 block of South May Street, was found guilty on two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child on Nov. 4.

Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak on Tuesday sentenced Johnson to 15 years in prison on each Class X felony count. Johnson must serve the two sentences consecutive to one another.

Johnson has prior sex offenses and was arrested in February for failing to register as a sex offender. While in the custody of Joliet police for that offense, he stated he had had sex with an underage girl during 1999 and 2000.  The girl was 11 when the sexual assaults began; she was 12 when they ended.

Joliet Police Detective Anthony Nowak followed up on the statements Johnson made while in custody.  Nowak contacted the victim, who is now 18. She confirmed for police that Johnson had sex with her. She also testified against him during his trial.

“Judge Bertani-Tomczak’s tough sentence will take a dangerous sexual predator off our streets for a long time,” Glasgow said.

Glasgow also praised Nowak, a recent recipient of the police officer of the year award from the Exchange Club, for vigorously pursuing these 6-year-old allegations and bringing Johnson to justice. 

And he credited Assistant State’s Attorneys Michael Fitzgerald and Mary Fillipitch for handling a difficult case with skill and sensitivity.

Bertani-Tomczak also sentenced Johnson to eight years for failing to register as a sex offender, which was the initial reason Joliet police arrested him in February. That sentence will be served concurrently with his 30-year sentence.

Two men convicted in connection with 2004 Bolingbrook shooting

November 21

JOLIET – A Will County jury has returned guilty verdicts against two men in connection with a Bolingbrook shooting two years ago.

Ricardo Lopez,  33, of the 100 block of Northridge Avenue, Bolingbrook, was found guilty of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. Lopez tried to gun down a man who was involved in a relationship with his girlfriend on the night of Oct. 5, 2004.

Damian Greenwell, 30, of the 300 block of Pheasant Chase, Bolingbrook, was found guilty of aggravated battery with a firearm. Greenwell drove Lopez to the victim’s house in the 200 block of Valley Drive on the night of the shooting.

Lopez confronted Colon inside the house and shot him twice. He shot Colon a third time while the victim was running out his front door.

Colon suffered gunshot wounds to his stomach, left elbow and his back.

Lopez and Greenwell fled the scene and dumped their weapon, a .22-caliber revolver, in a Bolingbrook park.

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow praised Bolingbrook police for the department’s quick response to a report of shots fired.

Roughly 20 police officers immediately began combing the area in search of a red Ford pickup truck that sped from the house. Police arrested Lopez and Greenwell 10 minutes after the shooting. They also recovered the gun they used. The investigation was headed by Detective Dan Toomey.

“Bolingbrook police marshaled every available officer on the night of the shooting and armed them with the information they needed to find these shooters,” Glasgow said. “As a result of their quick action, the police took two dangerous men off the streets minutes after they committed the crime.”

He also credited Assistant State’s Attorneys Michael Fitzgerald and Chris Regis for their skilled prosecution.

“Their presentation of testimony and evidence left jurors no doubt as to who tried to kill Henry Colon,” Glasgow said.

The trial lasted a week and concluded late Monday. The jury deliberated for four hours before returning guilty verdicts against both defendants.

Lopez and Greenwell are scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 26 before Associate Judge Robert Livas.

Contract approved to collect past due court fines, fees

November 21

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and Will County Circuit Clerk Pam McGuire announce they have approved a contract with a top collection agency that will be assigned to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in past-due court fines and fees.

The state’s attorney and the circuit clerk have entered into a contract with Harris and Harris Ltd. and the law offices of Arnold Scott Harris to collect past-due court debts. The respected Chicago-based collections business and legal firm were selected from among a half-dozen firms that had submitted proposals.

“This contract will enable Harris and Harris to begin collecting debts owed by thousands of people who, for whatever reason, have chosen not to pay their court-ordered fines or fees,” Glasgow said. “These newly collected revenues will be disbursed to the county and to other municipalities, hopefully to cover the costs of providing court-related and law enforcement services.”

“We are constantly looking for sources of revenue to lessen the burden on the taxpayers of Will County,” McGuire said. “I feel this initiative will result in considerable amounts of money for the County of Will, local municipalities and the State of Illinois.”

McGuire added: “I realize this will result in a substantial increase in the workload of our employees through answering phone calls, scheduling motions, taking in payments and notifying the state of payment information. But this is a positive endeavor that will assist the county. I would encourage anyone who has unpaid court costs to come forward and pay them now to avoid future collection efforts.”

The Circuit Clerk’s Office estimates that defendants in 2005 ignored nearly $936,000 in felony fines, $246,000 in misdemeanor fines, $479,000 in ordinance violation fines and $6,600 for conservation violation fines. Collecting even a small portion of these past-due debts will assist the county and other municipalities as they grapple with tight budgets.

Glasgow and McGuire’s offices researched potential collection companies over the past several months. They settled on Harris and Harris for numerous reasons:

  • The company currently provides this service for circuit clerks in both Cook and DuPage counties and comes highly recommended by officials from both counties. 
  • The collections business is affiliated with a respected Chicago legal firm, thereby ensuring a legal and ethical approach to retrieving past-due debts. 
  • The contract allows for the monitoring of collections activities over the Internet in real time, allowing Will County officials to make certain the county is being professionally represented and that those who are contacted about past-due debts are treated respectfully. 
  • The team of professionals designated by Harris and Harris to service the contract exhibited an extensive background of experience and knowledge.  
  • The company helped to draft state legislation last year that enabled counties to add a small fee on top of past-due fines or judgments for collections purposes. The company is paid through the fee, which means local governments receive 100 percent of any past-due money that is collected.

“A great many of the people who are fined by our local courts pay their debts,” Glasgow said. “The circuit clerk and I are taking the steps necessary to collect fines from those who think they can shirk their court-ordered financial obligations.”

Two indicted, accused of fixing traffic tickets

November 16

JOLIET – A grand jury this week handed down indictments against two Will County Courthouse employees who are accused of fixing traffic tickets.

Arthur Schultz Jr., 44, court security surveillance coordinator, and Diana Massat, 28, a clerk who worked in the circuit clerk’s office, both were indicted for official misconduct and tampering with public records.

Official misconduct is a Class 3 felony that carries a potential 2-5 year prison sentence upon conviction. Tampering with public records is a Class 4 felony that carries a potential 1-3 year sentence upon conviction.

Massat alone also faces a single indictment on one count of computer tampering, which also is a Class 4 felony.

Probation is a sentencing option on all of these charges.

The indictments, which were approved by a judge on Thursday morning (Nov. 16), conclude a two-month grand jury investigation.

Schultz Jr. and Massat are accused of altering computerized court dockets to make it appear that traffic tickets had been dismissed in open court. In reality, those who had received the traffic tickets in question never appeared in court to plead their cases.

The indictments allege Schultz Jr. and Massat worked together to fix 11 traffic tickets between Feb. 28, 2005 and May 9, 2006. Massat is alleged to have fixed eight traffic tickets on her own between Dec. 9, 2003 and July 11, 2006.

The investigation turned up no evidence that anyone who received these traffic tickets paid money to have them dismissed. The state’s attorney plans to reinstate all of the traffic tickets in question.

Schultz Jr. recently resigned from his position at the courthouse. Massat no longer works for the circuit clerk’s office.

“It is extremely unfortunate when government employees who are given a position of responsibility violate the public trust,” said State’s Attorney James Glasgow. “An exhaustive investigation of these allegations of ticket fixing was critical to maintaining the integrity of our court system.  People must have confidence in our system of justice. The grand jury made the appropriate decision to issue these indictments.”

Glasgow commended Will County Circuit Clerk Pam McGuire for uncovering these alleged actions and forwarding the matter to his office for investigation immediately after the allegations surfaced in July.

“Pam McGuire acted decisively and took the steps necessary to secure her office,” the state’s attorney said. “She extended her full cooperation during every aspect of this investigation.”

Schultz Jr. and Massat are expected to surrender to authorities at the Will County Jail today (Thursday, Nov. 16). Bail was set at $35,000 for each defendant. They each must post 10 percent or $3,500 to secure their release while they are awaiting trial.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Former Land Use Department clerk pleads guilty

November 14

JOLIET – A former clerk with the Will County Land Use Department pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of felony theft for stealing more than $17,000 that had been paid by the public for building permits.

Lisa Rozanski, 38, of the 15400 block of West 151st St., Lockport, paid $17,761 in restitution upfront as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, said Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow.

The restitution covers all of the money Rozanski stole between 1999 and 2005 while working for the Land Use Department.

In exchange for her guilty plea and the restitution, Rozanski will be placed on 48 months of probation.

Allegations of theft by Rozanski first surfaced in October 2005. The case had yet to be charged and was under investigation when Rozanski’s defense attorney approached prosecutors with a proposed plea agreement that included full restitution in exchange for probation on a felony theft charge.

Prosecutors on Tuesday filed a single charge of theft, which is a Class 2 felony that allows for a sentence of probation.  Her plea of guilty was accepted by Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak on Tuesday afternoon.

“Under this plea agreement, which was reached only after full restitution was paid, we have obtained a felony conviction against Lisa Rozanski,” Glasgow said. “Most importantly, we have recovered every penny of public funding that was stolen from the Land Use Department.”

Rozanski pocketed the money that was paid for 154 building permits between 1999 and 2005. In an attempt to cover up the thefts, she duplicated building permits that already had been issued to other applicants and then handed them out to new applicants.

Downers Grove man sentenced to prison for soliciting sex from Naperville teen

November 9

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a judge sentenced a Downers Grove man to two years in prison for soliciting sex from a 14-year-old Naperville girl he had met in an Internet chat room.

Juan Martinez Jr., 25, of the 1100 block of Candlewood Drive, Downers Grove, was convicted in August on one count of indecent solicitation of a child. As part of his sentence on the Class 3 felony, Martinez must register as a sex offender for the next decade.

Martinez began trading text messages with the girl over his cellular telephone in early May of 2004. On the night of May 9, 2004, a week after the two began communicating via text message, Martinez met the girl in front of her Naperville house and then drove her to an industrial park where they had sex in the back seat of his car.

The girl’s mother learned that Martinez, who was 23 at the time, had had sex with her teen-age daughter when she discovered their text messages. Naperville Detective Richard Wistocki investigated the allegations after the victim’s mother contacted police.

Martinez admitted he had sex with the victim. But he testified during the trial that the victim lied about her age and told him she was 17.

The victim testified she first told Martinez she was 15, which still is under the age of consent. She testified she finally told Martinez she was 14 after their sexual encounter.

The jury acquitted Martinez on two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Those two charges alleged Martinez knowingly had sex with a minor under the age of 17. But jurors convicted him on the solicitation charge based upon sexually charged text messages he exchanged with the girl after she had acknowledged her true age.

During the sentencing hearing, Assistant State’s Attorneys John Connor and Alyson DeBell presented testimony from two other young women who testified that Martinez had sexually assaulted both of them at a party in Downers Grove in 2001. The two women, who were 19 at the time, reported the allegations to Downers Grove police, but charges were never filed.

Will County Associate Judge Robert Livas was troubled that Martinez did not acknowledge the victim in this case when the defendant addressed the court during the sentencing hearing. Before handing down the sentence, the judge stated that Martinez, in refusing to acknowledge his crime, was “in a perpetual state of denial.”

Glasgow praised Connor and DeBell for presenting evidence clearly and securing a felony conviction and a prison sentence. He also credited Detective Wistocki for conducting an aggressive investigation that brought Martinez to justice.

MySpace predator sent to prison

October 27

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that his Computer Crimes Unit sent a Morris man who was arrested in a Myspace-related Internet sex sting to prison today. 

Jay D. Coffield, 44, pled guilty in exchange for a 26 month prison sentence today in front of Judge Daniel Rozak.  Coffield was charged in June with indecent solicitation of a child after he arrived at a local business expecting to meet a 15 year old girl and instead met the Naperville Police Department, assisted by the Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  Indecent solicitation of a child is a Class 3 felony in Illinois which carries the possibility of probation or a sentence of 2 to 5 years in prison. 

Naperville Detective Rich Wistocki, who spearheaded the Coffield investigation along with the State’s Attorney’s Computer Crimes Unit and Attorney General’s Task Force, has dealt extensively with Myspace-related cases and received an award from Myspace at the national 2006 Internet Crimes Against Children Conference in Dallas, Texas. 

Wistocki was contacted by a 21 year old woman who had seen inappropriate comments directed to her 14 year old cousin on the girl’s Myspace page.  Taking a page from the online watchdog group “Perverted Justice”, this amateur sleuth set up her own undercover account online and began talking to Coffield online.  After meeting with Wistocki, the woman turned over her undercover account and previous chats with Coffield to the detective, who continued to converse with Coffield until Coffield suggested that the 15 year old “virtual” child meet him for a sexual encounter at a local business. 

When Coffield arrived at the location, instead of a vulnerable 15 year old he met Wistocki and other officers, who briskly whisked him off to jail.  Both in his online chats with Wistocki and in his confession, Coffield indicated that this was his first attempt to physically meet a child.  He has no prior criminal history.

“Thanks to Detective Wistocki and prosecutor John Connor of my Computer Crimes Unit, our proactice investigative techniques worked to perfection,” said Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow.  “We caught an Internet predator before he could claim his first victim, and so helped to ensure that Jay Coffield will not actually harm a child.  No longer an anonymous Internet surfer looking for vulnerable children, Jay Coffield now will have a public prison sentence and his face online among other Illinois registered sex offenders.  Instead of just picking up the pieces after a child has been violated, we were able to expose and punish a predator before a child’s life was tragically affected.”

Suspected online child exploitation may be reported to your local police department or to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, at 1-800-843-5678 or