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Local News

Minooka man guilty of sex assault, torture sentenced to 85 years in prison

Richard S. Cleveland of Minooka
Richard S. Cleveland of Minooka

YORKVILLE – A Minooka man that was convicted of multiple sex crimes after torturing a family member has been sentenced to a total of 85 years in prison.

Kendall County Judge Robert Pilmer sentenced Richard S. Cleveland, 60, of the 3000 block of U.S. Route 52 in Minooka, for aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery by means of torture in court on Friday, Aug. 2 at the Kendall County Courthouse.

Pilmer said before giving the sentence to Cleveland that several factors were considered in making his decision, including the victim, Cleveland's rehabilitation potential and imposing a sentence that would still deter others from committing the crime.

"I'm well aware that even the minimum sentence ... may be a defacto life sentence," Pilmer said.

The sentence comes after Cleveland was convicted of the crimes in June after a four-day jury trial. The jury deliberated for more than three hours before returning guilty verdicts on all counts, according to a news release from Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis.

Robert Dore, assistant state's attorney for Kendall County, said the state wanted Cleveland's sentence to be more than the total minimum and Cleveland's high likelihood of dying in prison regardless shouldn't be a reason to imposes the minimum prison sentence. Victoria Chuffo, Cleveland's lawyer and the Kendall County public defender, said Cleveland had little to no criminal background and has had an extensive medical history while incarcerated, including a broken hip and heart ailments.

Cleveland, who was present in court on Friday, Aug. 2, said in his court statement before his sentencing that he's sorry for his family, friends and others affected by the case for what they have gone through throughout the process. He said he misses his family, has been wheelchair bound since he went to prison and that has been disrespected and tormented by people who think of him as only an alleged sex offender but don't know the truth.

"I'm putting my life in your hands," Cleveland said to Pilmer.

Cleveland, who had been in custody since his arrest in September 2016, must serve 85% of any sentence he receives for the counts involving aggravated criminal sexual assault, meaning he must serve 72 years and three months through the Illinois Department of Corrections. He currently has nearly three years of incarceration credit that would go toward his sentence.

Charges against Cleveland were filed after an investigation began in September 2016, the state's attorney's news release said. The incidents, which involved torture to the victim using electrical currents and other instruments, occurred over the course of about two months and caused the victim great bodily harm, according to the news release.

The victim said during their victim impact statement in court on Friday, Aug. 2 that the torture that they endured under Cleveland is beyond their comprehension. They said moving past the incidents won't undo what Cleveland did, but they will nevertheless keep trying to live life to the fullest.

"I won't let you take any more from me than you already have," the victim said.

Chuffo said her office normally appeals this kind of sentence, but she still had to talk to her client about next steps.

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