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October 14, 2016


Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that a Morgan County jury has found that a registered sex offender is a Sexually Violent Person (SVP) following a three-day trial.

Following the jury’s verdict, Morgan County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey E. Tobin ruled that Donnie R. Barrett, 41, of Arenzville, Ill., must remain in the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) for treatment. Barrett was then returned to the IDHS SVP Treatment and Detention Facility in Rushville, Ill.

“This offender has been convicted repeatedly for the sexual abuse of children, and he has shown no ability to stop preying on children,” Madigan said. “I appreciate the jury’s verdict that will prevent this predator from going back into the community.”

Under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, Madigan’s office prosecutes cases seeking to commit offenders to the custody of IDHS. To be committed under the Act, a person must have been convicted of a sexually violent offense and suffer from a mental disorder. Additionally, prosecutors must prove that the offender is likely to commit future acts of sexual violence if released from custody. Once committed to IDHS, offenders are re-evaluated on a regular basis to determine if they continue to meet the criteria for commitment as a sexually violent person.

Barrett has previously been convicted in several cases for sexually abusing children. In 1997 he was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for molesting four children under the age of 13, including a 6-year-old girl. While on parole in 2000, Bennett was convicted of sexual exploitation of a child for exposing himself to a school bus of approximately 25 students between the ages of 10 and 17. After being released from prison in 2005, Barrett violated his probation and was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for sexually abusing a friend’s son who was under the age of 13.

Since the enactment of the SVP law, over 400 convicted sex offenders have been committed to the custody of IDHS. Madigan’s office currently has an additional 191 petitions filed with courts around Illinois seeking commitment of offenders who otherwise would be released from prison.

Assistant Attorneys General Robert Hollinshead and Barry Schaefer are handling the case for Madigan’s Sexually Violent Persons Bureau.


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