Public invited to kick off Joliet-Pontiac bicycle ride Thursday, Oct. 17 to benefit state, local Children’s Advocacy Centers

October 15

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow invites the public to the kickoff rally for the “Stop the Cycle of Abuse” bicycle ride to help in the fight against child sexual abuse.

Nearly 20 bicycle riders will begin a one-day, 60 mile trek on Thursday, Oct. 17 along historic Route 66 from Joliet to Pontiac. The kickoff rally begins at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Will County  Courthouse, 14 W. Jefferson St., in downtown Joliet. Rider registration begins at 7:30 a.m. in front of the courthouse.

The Joliet to Pontiac ride is the second stage in a 360-mile journey from Hoffman Estates to St. Louis. The goal is for participating riders to raise $150,000 to support programs and services provided by 39 Children’s Advocacy Centers throughout Illinois, including the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center in Joliet.

Nearly 20 riders who completed the first stage of the journey will arrive in Joliet from Hoffman Estates on the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Riders from the first and second stages are invited to a free meal at Chicago Street Pub, 75 N. Chicago St., downtown Joliet, starting at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. 

“This ride is a healthy and fun way to raise awareness and funding for non-profit agencies that continue to fight and protect vulnerable children,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “I look forward to giving our local riders a great send off for a worthy cause.”

Glasgow will be joined by Will County Executive Larry Walsh and State Sen. Patrick McGuire in the opening ceremony. The State’s Attorney will sound an air horn promptly at 9 a.m. to signal the start of the ride.

Glasgow founded the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center in 1995 as a 501-c-3 non-profit organization so it would not impact taxpayers. As a result, the center relies on grants, foundations and fundraisers like “Stop the Cycle of Abuse” to fulfill its important mission.

There is still time to donate to “Stop the Cycle of Abuse” at, and help children and their families who are hurt by abuse.

Joliet man guilty of beating 9-month-old child to death in 2008

September 24

JOLIET – Will County State’sAttorney James Glasgow announced that a jury on Tuesday found a Joliet manguilty of beating to death his girlfriend’s 9-month-old baby in 2008.

The jury deliberated for twohours before finding Santos Loza Jr., 33, guilty of first-degree murder forbeating Kevion Bender to death on Oct. 26, 2008. He faces 20 to 100 years inprison when he is sentenced. His next status hearing is Dec. 4.

Will County Veterans Court to graduate first member to kick addiction

September 17

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James W. Glasgow announced that a veteran of the U.S. Army and theU.S. Air Force will be the first person to graduate from the Will CountyVeterans Court.

Walter McCann, 67, of Wilmington,who has struggled with alcoholism throughout his life and the more than 35years since he was honorably discharged from the Air Force, will graduate fromthe Veterans Court during a ceremony scheduled for 1 p.m. Sept. 26 at JolietCity Hall, 150 W. Jefferson Street in downtown Joliet.

In addition to McCann, 12other people will graduate from the Will County Drug Court program during theSept. 26 ceremony. Veterans Court functions as a program within the Will CountyDrug Court. Over the past 13 years, Drug Court team has helped more than 300people kick their addictions and avoid felony convictions for non-violentcrimes they have committed.

The 12 Drug Court members who will graduate arefrom Channahon,Frankfort, Romeoville, Plainfield, Waukegan, Joliet, Crest Hill, Wilmingtonand Elgin.

State’s Attorney Glasgowworked with the local Judiciary, including former Chief Judge Gerald Kinney andpresiding Drug Court Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes, to establish theVeterans Court in May of 2012.  The court is designed to provide treatment,counseling and assistance to local veterans who have struggled with mentalhealth and substance abuse disorders – in many cases as a direct result oftheir dedicated service to our country – since returning home from militaryoperations.

The Judiciary and the State’s Attorney’s Office havepartnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Edward Hines Jr. VAHospital, the Veterans Assistance Commission of Will County, the Center forCorrectional Concerns, the Will County Health Department and the Will CountyPublic Defender’s Office to provide veterans with the treatment and mentalhealth services they need to complete the program and restore their lives.

“Thousands of veterans havereturned home over the years suffering from substance abuse problems or mentalhealth disorders including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or depression,” saidState’s Attorney Glasgow. “Oftentimes, these disorders can be attributed totheir heroic actions in preserving our liberty. We enjoy extraordinary freedomsbecause of their sacrifices. As a result, when they come in contact with ourjustice system, we have an obligation to acknowledge their service and providethem with the treatment and counseling necessary for them to regain theirlives.”

McCann joined the Army in1965 at the age of 18 and was stationed first in Korea and later inGermany.  After his discharge, McCann enlisted in the Air Force in 1977and served until 1981.

A carpenter by trade, McCannstruggled with alcohol abuse. However, he has been able to maintain sobrietyfor extended periods during his adult life. He was facing a charge of unlawfulpossession of a firearm when he began Veterans Court. The charge is expected tobe dismissed upon his graduation next week.

The graduation ceremony is open to the public. Veteransorganizations are encouraged to attend. Free parking is available on the sixthlevel of the Harrah’s Casino Parking Deck on Jefferson Street across from CityHall.

State’s Attorney Glasgow taps prominent Joliet lawyer Michael Hansen to serve as ombudsman for residents impacted by Illiana Expressway

August 29

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces the appointment of a prominent Joliet attorney to serve as an ombudsman for landowners whose properties lie in the path of the proposed Illiana Expressway.

Hansen, whose appointment as ombudsman was formalized recently, will serve as an independent intermediary whose role will be to facilitate communication between local property owners and the Illinois Department of Transportation as the state begins to acquire land for the Illiana project.

Hansen has a comprehensive background in state and local laws as they relate to real estate development. As an attorney, he has successfully helped clients ranging from national corporations to local landowners shepherd their development proposals through state, county and municipal planning processes. His background also includes extensive experience in corporate, business, probate and estate planning law.

The Will County Board recently approved an agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation to hire an ombudsman to provide information to landowners independent of influence by the state or local government agencies. As part of that agreement, State’s Attorney Glasgow was authorized to conduct a search and appoint the ombudsman.

“Mike is a highly respected and knowledgeable attorney who has the strongest legal background to assist property owners who have questions when they are approached by the state regarding the development of the Illiana Expressway,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “His sole priority is to present independent, accurate information to landowners who wish to protect their interests as the state project moves forward.”

Property owners can be assured that their consultations with the ombudsman are confidential and that their discussions as well as their identities will not be disclosed to state or county officials. The ombudsman’s duties include:

  • Explaining to property owners their rights pertaining to on-site inspections by state surveyors or appraisers.
  • Educating property owners on state guidelines for property acquisition and relocation assistance.
  • Informing property owners of eminent domain procedures.
  • Informing landowners of the negotiating process for the sale of property.
  • Informing owners of the tiered environmental impact studies required by the National Environmental Policy Act.
  • Acting as an intermediary between property owners and IDOT.
  • Accompanying IDOT officials or their consultants on inspections if requested by property owners.
  • Recommending certified real estate appraisers to assist property owners in their negotiations with IDOT.

Hansen graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame in 1973 and received his law degree from Drake University Law School in 1975. He practiced law as a partner with the Joliet firm of Herschbach, Tracy, Johnson, Bertani & Wilson from 1976 to 1994.

He has received the highest rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, and he has been named as a leading lawyer in Illinois through the Leading Lawyer Network in the areas of business, gaming, land use, zoning, condemnation and commercial real estate.

Hansen was instrumental in founding the Empress Casino in Joliet and served as vice president, secretary and chief legal officer for Empress Entertainment, Inc., Empress Casino Joliet Corporation and Empress Casino Hammond.  He also was responsible for the licensing and development of Empress Casino Hammond Corporation in 1995.  From 1999 through 2001, he served as vice president and general counsel for Empress Financial Group, LLC.

Three men get 20-plus years each for University Park home invasion

August 27

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that three men each have been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for committing a home invasion in University Park in 2011.

Larnell Weston, 29, of Dixmoor, and Ternell Weston, 26, of Calumet Park, were both sentenced to 23 years in prison by Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak. The judge sentenced Raunchino James, 27, of Chicago Heights, to 21 years in prison.

The three men were convicted of home invasion, residential burglary and armed robbery at the conclusion of a bench trial in January.

The three men kicked in the door of a University Park residence where a woman and her 12-year-old son were living in the early-morning hours of Feb. 19, 2011. They pointed guns at the woman and her son and demanded money. The men then ransacked the residence and fled with cash, an Xbox gaming system, video games, a laptop, a camera, a camcorder and other items. The son pleaded with the three not to hurt his mother.

University Park Police canvassed a nearby wooded area and spotted three men fitting the description of the suspects. They saw the men flee into an apartment building and arrested them there.

State’s Attorney Glasgow credited prosecutors Frank Byers and Tom Slazyk with putting three dangerous men in prison.

“Our citizens have an absolute right to feel safe inside their homes,” he said. “These three armed thugs not only stole cash and belongings from these innocent people, they completely violated their sense of security, and for that they are going to prison for a long time.”    

Two Bolingbrook men from same apartment complex arrested, charged in serparate child porn possession cases

August 27

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that two separate investigations by his High Technology Crimes Unit have culminated in the arrests of two Bolingbrook men who live in the same apartment complex.

One of the men had relocated to Olathe, Kansas where he was subsequently arrested and charged by Kansas authorities.

Thomas M. Fees, 52, of 14 G Fernwood, Bolingbrook is being held in the Will County Jail on three counts of possession of child pornography. He was arrested in Bolingbrook on Aug. 14. His bond was set at $200,000, which means he must post 10 percent or $20,000 to secure his release while he is awaiting trial.

Thomas J. Goforth, 33, formerly of 15 G Fernwood, Bolingbrook, was taken into custody in Kansas on charges of possession of child pornography. While he is formally charged in Kansas based upon this investigation, the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office will review the evidence to determine whether charges are warranted in Illinois as well.

The arrests are the culmination of two cooperative investigations by State’s Attorney Glasgow’s High Technology Crimes Unit, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), the U.S. Secret Service, the Bolingbrook Police Department and the Wheaton Police Department. The agencies all participated in the execution of two search warrants in separate two-month investigations into the downloading and distribution of child pornography.

State’s Attorney Glasgow’s High Technology Crimes Unit was established in 2012 and has executed more than 45 search warrants during investigations into allegations involving the downloading and trading of child pornography and in some cases the hands-on sexual abuse of children.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that charges are 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.

Second Joliet man found guilty in 2009 Lois Place murder

August 21

Jesus Zambrano

JOLIET – Will County State’sAttorney James Glasgow announced that a Joliet man has been convicted of murderin connection with the shooting death of a man inside the Lois Place apartmentcomplex in 2009.

A jury deliberated for roughly six hours before finding Jesus Zambrano, 23, guilty of one count offirst-degree murder for the killing of Robert Gooch on May 22, 2009. The juryreached its verdict on Tuesday evening.

Another man, Pedro Sanchez, alsoof Joliet, already has been convicted of first-degree murder in connection withthis shooting and is serving a 61-year prison sentence.

Zambrano faces between 35 and75 years in prison when he is sentenced by Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak onOct. 23. He is eligible for an enhanced sentence because the state proved he wasarmed with a firearm during the commission of this murder.

Zambrano and Sanchez confrontedGooch at the apartment of Gooch’s girlfriend, Ellissa Hinton, according to trialtestimony. Hinton testified she was having sex occasionally with Sanchez, butthat she wouldn’t allow their relationship to go further by leaving Gooch.

Hinton testified she and Goochhad watched the NBA playoffs and had gone to bed on the night of the murder.Later that evening, Gooch answered the apartment’s buzzer while she remained inthe bedroom. She testified she heard Sanchez’s voice in the living room andsomeone saying “my girl” just before she heard a single gunshot.

She went to the living roomto find Gooch lying on the floor bleeding from the head. An autopsy later revealedGooch died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Gooch’s two youngchildren were sleeping on a sofa bed in the living room at the time of themurder.

“In a despicable act ofbrutality, Zambrano and Sanchez gunned down an unarmed man while his twochildren were sleeping in the same room,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Thanksto a first-rate investigation by the Joliet Police Department and top-notchtrial work by two fine prosecutors, it will be a long time before JesusZambrano can even begin to think about walking our streets.”

Assistant State’s Attorneys DanWalsh and Tricia McKenna entered into evidence security tapes from the apartmentcomplex showing Zambrano and Sanchez arriving at the parking lot in the Sanchez’scar, getting out of the vehicle and then returning to the car before drivingaway. A witness testified he saw Zambrano retrieve an object from under thehood of Sanchez’s car before the two entered the apartment complex. Zambranoand Sanchez were caught on video running from the building after Gooch wasshot.

Glasgow also thanked hischief investigator, Jim Stewart, for going the extra mile to locate a reluctantwitness whose testimony was crucial to the successful prosecution of this case.

Call to Bicyclists: Join ‘Stop the Cycle of Abuse’ ride to benefit Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, other CACs

August 20

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow is rallying local bicycle enthusiasts from all levels – experienced cyclists to occasional riders – to join a trek that will help in the fight against child sexual abuse.

“Stop the Cycle of Abuse” is a six-day, 360-mile bicycle ride that begins in Hoffman Estates on Oct. 16 and ends in St. Louis on Oct. 21. The goal is for participating riders to raise $150,000 to support programs and services provided by 39 Children’s Advocacy Centers throughout Illinois, including the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center in Joliet.

Will County cyclists do not have to ride the entire 360-mile route along historic Route 66. They may choose to ride only the second stage from Joliet to Pontiac, a one-day ride of about 60 miles.

  • The second stage of the ride begins at 8 a.m. Oct. 17 in front of the Will County Courthouse, 14 W. Jefferson St., in downtown Joliet.The one-day ride ends in Pontiac with free transportation back to Joliet provided by Amtrak for riders and their bikes.
  • Cyclists also may choose to pedal other stages of the ride, which is sponsored by the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois.
  • Those who choose to ride a single stage in “Stop the Cycle of Abuse” are asked to raise a minimum of $200 in pledges and donations. Those who wish to ride the entire race will be asked to raise $1,000. Registration costs $35 per rider.
  • Cyclists may register as individuals or as part of a team. Stops are in Joliet, Pontiac, Bloomington, Springfield, Staunton and St. Louis.
  • To register or for more information, visit or contact Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois at (217) 528-2224. Information also is available by calling the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center at (815) 774-4565.

“This bicycle ride is a healthy and fun way to raise awareness and funding for non-profit agencies that play a critical role in the fight to protect sexually abused children,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow, who founded the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center in 1995.  “I look forward to giving our local riders a great send off for a worthy cause on the morning of Oct. 17.”

Glasgow established the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center to improve investigations of child sexual abuse cases. The center’s professionally trained and compassionate staff performs victim-sensitive interviews when there are allegations of sexual or severe physical abuse. Children’s recorded statements have been used in the successful prosecution of hundreds of predators.  The center’s staff also provides information for medical and counseling services to assist children and their families in the healing process.

“Stop the Cycle of Abuse” is championed by Antioch residents John Frugo and Lynette Garrett, who rode more than 2,000 miles across the United States in 2012 and raised more than $12,000 for Children’s Advocacy Centers in Illinois.

“We are so pleased to be working with John and Lynn to create a signature event for Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois to support the 39 CACs throughout Illinois,” said Billie Larkin, Executive Director of CACI.

She added: “This event is a fantastic way for individuals and potential sponsors to get involved at many levels. Whether biking 60 miles or 360 miles, each person has the chance to make a positive difference in the lives of children they may never have the chance to meet.”

In 2012, more than 10,000 children were referred to Illinois CACs for victim-sensitive interviews, medical and mental health services and advocacy and case coordination. An estimated one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18.

The ride will conclude at the St. Louis Charter School in St. Louis on Monday, Oct. 21, where more than 1,000 students and teachers will rally to greet participants as they finish the event.

Manhattan Man Sentenced to 9 Years for a Fatal DUI Collision

August 8

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James W. Glasgow announced today that Jason R. Rymut, 32, has been sentenced to nine years in prison for causing a drunken driving collision that killed a Manhattan man in 2012.

Rymut, of 24956 S.Clare Circle, Manhattan, slammed his Chevrolet Malibu into the rear bumper of a vehicle driven by Bryan Bulger, 26, while it was idling at a stop sign on August 8, 2012. The force of the impact sent Bulger’s Chevrolet Camaro flying into a third vehicle in the intersection. Bulger suffered masssive head and body injuries that killed him instantly.

Bulger’s girlfriend, who was sitting in the passenger seat of the Camaro, survived with minor injuries. The driver of the third car was uninjured.

Before the impact, Rymut was using his cell phone as he sped down Cedar Road in Manhattan at speeds reaching 86 miles-per-hour, according to a black box recorder in his vehicle. He was traveling 83 miles-per-hour when he struck Bulger’s car.

At Silver Cross hospital, Rymut’s blood was drawn and his blood-alcohol content was .121. Police officers also smelled alcohol on his breath.

Bulger’s father had given him the 1978 Chevrolet Camaro that he was driving the night he died after he had received his Master’s Degree in criminology. Bulger and his father enjoyed working together to restore the vehicle to its original state, according to testimony at Rymut’s sentencing hearing.

Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak announced the sentence after the defendant pleaded guilty to aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol on April 18.

State’s Attorney Glasgow credited prosecutor Jim Long for securing the conviction and sentence.

“Jason Rymut’s decision to drive drunk showed a callous disregard for the safety of other motorists, and his actions cost a young man his life,” Glasgow said. “He should spend his long years in prison contemplating the horrific results of his collision.”

Mokena man gets 12 years for 2011 DUI crash that killed mother, grandmother; injured adult son with special needs

July 26

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today that a Mokena man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for a drunken driving collision that killed a 72-year-old woman and her 92-year-old mother in August of 2011.

Joseph E. Slattery, 27, of 20016 Lakeview Way, Mokena, was driving his Chevrolet Cavalier while intoxicated around 8 p.m. on Aug. 28, 2011 on LaGrange Road just north of Wilmington-Peotone Road when he veered over the center line and struck another vehicle with three occupants. 

The driver of that vehicle, Margaret Simons, 72, was pronounced dead at the scene. Another passenger, Suzanne Thompson, 92, who was Margaret Simons’ mother, suffered severe bilateral pelvic fractures and was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee, where she was pronounced dead three hours after the crash.

The third passenger, Ralph Simons, who was 42 at the time, suffered a fractured left hip and left hand and was hospitalized for 13 days. Ralph Simons is an adult with special needs who lives in a residential care facility.

At the time of the crash, Slattery was driving with his girlfriend and their 18-month-old son. The child was treated at St. Mary’s for a facial abrasion and contusion; the mother appeared unharmed. An empty carton of Bud Light was found in the vehicle, although there were no actual containers in the car.

The defendant’s blood-alcohol level was .092 shortly after the accident and a blood test for opiates was positive. Slattery admitted to taking a friend’s Vicodin two nights before.

Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak imposed the sentence after hearing emotional statements from the family of the victims.

“Joseph Slattery’s decision to drive drunk showed a callous disregard for the safety of other motorists, and his actions cost two women their lives,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “He should spend his time in prison contemplating the horrific results of his crime.”

Glasgow credited prosecutors Frank Byers and Tom Slazyk for securing an important conviction and sentence. In addition, he credited Illinois State Police Trooper Sam Heenan, who was the officer on the scene, and Sgt. Dustin Geier, who performed the accident reconstruction component of the investigation, for their important work on this case