State Briefs 1/28/09
Former pastor sentenced for sexually abusing teen girls
MACHESNEY PARK — A pastor who pleaded guilty to sex charges involving two female minors has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
Jonathon Christopher Powell, 40, former senior pastor at New Hope Baptist Church, pleaded guilty Monday to criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, for which he received a five-year and three-year sentence, respectively.
The sentences will be served consecutively, said Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato.
The charges stem from his sexual relationships with the 15- and 13-year-old girls. Powell was arrested in May and has been held in the Winnebago County Jail since. He will be credited with more than 200 days served. Upon his release, Powell will be required to register as a sex offender.
Rockford Register Star
Officials trying to determine how baby got splashed with hot grease
SPRINGFIELD – Police and child welfare investigators are trying to determine how a 16-month-old boy was splashed with hot grease on Jan. 20.
A family member did not take the boy to the hospital for treatment until Monday night. Officers were sent to St. John’s Hospital to take a report about the boy’s injuries, which included burns to his forehead and on his right leg near his knee.
The mother told police her boyfriend’s brother was watching the boy and thought the child was in bed. He was cooking food on the stove and left the kitchen, then heard the boy screaming.
He returned to the kitchen to find the boy injured. He told the mother it appeared the boy grabbed the handle of a pan on the stove and dumped grease on himself.
Police would not say why the mother did not take the child to the hospital right away. They are looking for the boyfriend’s brother so they can talk to him. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services was notified of the incident.
New hospital, eye-surgery center approved
SPRINGFIELD – State health planning board members have approved construction of a replacement for Lincoln’s Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital and a new outpatient eye-surgery center in Springfield.
The new hospital, along Business I-55 in the Logan County seat, is expected to cost about $50 million and be completed in late 2010 or early 2011. Lincoln Memorial has been an affiliate of the Springfield-based Memorial Health System since 1994.
Both the Lincoln hospital and the Prairie Surgicenter, to be connected to Dr. Sandra Yeh’s Prairie Eye & Lasik Center in Springfield, received 4-0 votes from the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board during the board’s meeting Tuesday in Chicago.
Yeh’s planned surgical center is expected to open by spring 2010. It will make care more convenient for people receiving cataract, glaucoma and other eye surgeries, Yeh said.
Woman arrested on meth charges after holing up for hours
GALESBURG – A woman who refused to open her door to police for several hours was arrested on methamphetamine charges early Tuesday morning after police executed a search warrant.
Police were called at 9:49 p.m. Monday to investigate a suspicious odor coming from an apartment. Police stood outside the door and heard a man and woman speaking inside the apartment. The woman answered a phone then said, “The police are in the building.” A male voice said, “Get a fan and turn on the radio.”
Officers attempted to get the residents to answer the door but they turned up the music and did not respond. An investigator left the scene and obtained a search warrant a short time later.
Coleen F. Boys, 36, was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine and possession of meth making materials at 1 a.m. Tuesday. Boys is being held in the Knox County jail.
Footprints in snow lead to second arrest this week
GALESBURG – For the second time this week, footprints in the snow have led police to criminal suspects.
A man was arrested Wednesday morning on 17 burglary offenses for allegedly breaking into vehicles in the city’s south side.
Police were called to investigate two suspicious subjects at about 1:50 a.m. Officers found several vehicles in that area had been entered. A recent snowfall allowed officers to follow two sets of footprints in the snow.
The tracks eventually led to a large tree where Dustin A. Treadway, 26, was found hiding. When officers told Treadway to get down, he ran. He was eventually apprehended. Police are still looking for the other suspect.
Treadway told police it was nothing personal about his fleeing and said he ran because he was on parole and knew he was going to prison for a long time.
“I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t gotten high earlier,” Treadway told police.
Treadway was paroled on Nov. 26, 2008, after serving one year and nine months of a 5-year prison sentenced for three counts of burglary. He also was sentenced in 2005 to four years in prison for burglary.
On Monday morning, fresh footprints in the snow led police to a man caught window-peeping and trespassing.