Date: Thursday, June 13, 2019
June 13th, 2019
State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross
Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross announces that a Grand Jury has returned an indictment against a Rockton man who sexually assaulted a child.
On May 24th, 2019, Rockton Police Department and the Department of Children and Family Services became aware of an allegation of sexual abuse by James D. Ward (D.O.B. 7/31/1972). Rockton Police and Winnebago County Sheriff’s Detectives conducted a follow up investigation that revealed that the sexual assault began when the victim was under the age of 13, in 2017. The investigation was reviewed by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office and charges were authorized against the defendant. Ward was recently indicted by a Winnebago County Grand Jury on five counts of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault.
Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault is a Class X Felony that is punishable by a sentence of 6-30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by three years of Mandatory Supervised Release. The defendant is eligible for an extended term of 6-60 years in the Department of Corrections because the victim was under the age of 13 at the time of the alleged offense.
Ward is currently in custody at the Winnebago County Jail on $750,000 bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment at 9am on June 14th, 2019, in front of the Honorable Judge John Lowry in Courtroom B at the Winnebago County Justice Center.
The charges are merely allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Alternative Justice & Outreach Coordinator
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