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In 2021, Chicago set a 25-year record for the number of reported homicides. In 2022, Chicago police are being chastised for making a record low number of arrests. According to recent data, arrests have been made in only 12% of reported cases which is the lowest number since the statistics were first recorded in 2001. Additionally, murders are up a reported 3% since 2020 and sexual assaults have climbed 27%. 

What’s going on? Well, the answer, predictably, falls along political lines. Conservatives want to blame “woke reforms” for the lack of arrests while “woke reformers” are blaming the police for “malicious compliance” with newer policies aimed at reducing police interactions.               

Going Out There and Not Doing Anything                                                                                                                                               

Allegations against this teacher were reported as early as 2019 when he still worked in the Chicago public schools. The teacher was accused of inappropriately touching the buttocks of a female student who then reported the incident to her mother and the two went to the principal. The behavior occurred on more than one occasion. The girl’s brother reported similar conduct as did two of his classmates. 

Prosecutors did pursue misdemeanor charges against the teacher who was later found not guilty in a bench trial. The teacher continued to teach Spanish to third graders when he was arrested for the sexual exploitation of a 12-year-old in Indiana. 

According to the allegations, he arranged to meet a 12-year-old boy who he spoke to online and met the boy at a hotel where he molested the boy and recorded the encounter. After the incident, police recovered the teacher’s phone where they found another incident of inappropriate sexual contact with a minor. The other victim was an Illinois resident who was 15 at the time of the assault. 

Illinois makes it illegal to own automatic weapons in the state. While in other states, you can own certain classes of automatic weapons, Illinois is not among the states that allow such a weapon within its borders. Further, you cannot take a handgun and then refurbish it to fire multiple rounds with a single trigger pull. Lastly, you cannot own a weapon if you have been convicted of certain felonies. 

Now, one man is accused of breaking all three laws after selling a modified Glock to an informant. He has been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, modifying a Glock, and illegal possession of a weapon in the State of Illinois. 

To be certain, a modified Glock capable of shooting multiple rounds with a single trigger depression is not legal anywhere in the United States, including Texas where automatic weapons can be owned and purchased so long as they meet specific criteria. 

ShotSpotter is a technology that aims at reporting gunshots to police officers (Was ShotSpotter involved in the death of Adam Toledo?) However, the technology has been manipulated by ShotSpotter employees to help cops leverage probable cause in cases where they would not otherwise have it. In fact, this constitutes a fraud on the public, the defendant, the court, and society at large. Rather than release documents during a trial, a ShotSpotter spokesperson took the unusual measure of asking the court to hold the company in contempt rather than release documents that would show that the company perpetrated a fraud against the citizens of Chicago. 

What is ShotSpotter and How Does it Work?

Ostensibly, ShotSpotter technology places audio devices around the city which then trigger alarms if they hear a noise that is loud, like a gunshot. The report could give police probable cause to stop individuals in the area. However, evidence has shown that shot spotter employees manipulated reports ex post facto to establish that a gunshot came from a specific location in order to give police probable cause to initiate detentions. 

An Illinois man has been charged with a felony hate crime after attacking an LGBTQ-friendly bakery. The bakery sparked controversy after announcing a “family-friendly drag show” online. The threats and vandalism forced the bakery to cancel the show. Now, a 24-year-old Illinois man is facing felony charges related to vandalism plus the hate crime intensifier. The man, along with others, is accused of leaving feces on the doorstep, harassing employees, and making in-person and online threats. He also inspired a group of people to join in. Those people left a sign outside the business that said, “pedophiles work here.”

The man accused of vandalizing the bakery was caught in the act. A local resident saw him breaking windows and spray-painting messages that police described as hateful. After the incident, the bakery reported that they would cancel the drag show over safety concerns of the performers. 

What is Going on Here?

An Illinois man who was a registered sex offender was indicted on new child pornography charges after exchanging photos with an undercover agent on the Kik Messenger App. Kik has gained notoriety for being a den of child pornography enthusiasts exchanging photos. The app provides the user with total anonymity from other users, but the terms of service stipulate that individuals cannot exchange illegal material using the site’s infrastructure. 

The app itself is not nefarious. It was created by college students at the University of Waterloo as a free, anonymous messaging app. The app allows you to create group chats, upload videos, pictures, and files. The group chat feature is where most of the child pornography issues can be found. The only thing you need to use the app is an email address. You then have a username and a handle which is used by other members to find you. 

While uploading child pornography to the site violates its terms of service, Kik does not moderate these group chats, so it is left to law enforcement to ensure crimes are not being committed. 

An Illinois man is alleging that the parents of a child he is charged with sexually assaulting gave him consent to initiate the sexual contact. The man has been charged with the sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl. He believes that he has committed no crime because her parents consented to the sexual contact. The Chicago man has been extradited to Iowa where he will face the charges. The defense filed a motion to dismiss on the basis of this consent, but consent is not a defense to the sexual abuse of a child. What is a defense is not knowing that the child was under 17 at the time of the assault.

Understanding the Law

I cannot agree on your behalf to allow you to be murdered, even if I am your parent. Children are not property and are not considered as such under the law. While parents have decision-making power over their children, they cannot consent on their behalf to allow the child to become the victim of a crime. The argument is thus meritless in legal terms and would rely entirely on jury nullification of the law under the statute. Lawyers are generally prevented from making such arguments before a jury. Nonetheless, the juries can and do nullify the law in specific cases. Most notably, during prohibition, prosecutors found it difficult to convict individuals accused of bootlegging. There is no jury on earth that would nullify a sex crime against a child. It would be tantamount to arguing that parents are allowed to pimp their children out to pedophiles for money.

Governor Pritzker recently signed a revision to an Illinois law that made it difficult for prosecutors to pursue charges against perpetrators of sex crimes against a victim who was voluntarily intoxicated. The bill will close a loophole under the law that made prosecutions more difficult when a victim was intoxicated by their own volition. The law as it was written required the perpetrator to cause the intoxication of the victim. The bill added new language to the statute that makes it easier for prosecutors to file charges against a perpetrator when the victim was drunk or high at the time. Nonetheless, the new law only makes room for victims who are unable to give consent at the time of the sexual contact. If the victim was “unconscious of the nature of the act” and the perpetrator “knew that they could not consent” then the sexual conduct is now actionable. 

What Happened?

The legislature took the matter up after a young victim was told by police that her experience did not qualify as rape or sexual assault under Illinois law. According to the victim, she was at a friend’s house partying when she was sexually assaulted by another individual. The police told her they would not investigate the charges because she had voluntarily become drunk when she was raped. When she asked the police what legal options she had at her disposal, they told her to not let it happen again and to move on. Instead, she lobbied politicians to close the loophole in the law and now police will be forced to investigate these matters. 

An Illinois man recently pleaded guilty to grooming charges after he sent a sexually explicit message to one of his former students—a sophomore—over a social media platform. The teacher pleaded guilty to one count of grooming in a negotiated plea deal that saw prosecutors drop another charge of indecent solicitation of a minor and another charge of sending sexually explicit material to a minor. The teacher was accused of sending sexually explicit messages and videos to a 15-year-old girl. The teacher worked at the school for about six weeks. 

As a part of the negotiated plea deal, the teacher will be required to serve at least 90 days in the county jail. He will additionally be on 24 months of probation, and he will have to register as a sex offender for at least 10 years. He will also need to undergo a sex offender evaluation. 

What is a Sex Offender Evaluation?

As more becomes known about the Highland Park massacre, the ability of the shooter, Robert E. Crimo III, to legally purchase an AR-15-style weapon is under intense scrutiny. Police say that there were two red flags with Crimo, but none of them made it to the attention of federal authorities who handle FOID card applications. Crimo was legally able to purchase the weapon in the Chicago area.

Family members say that they had no warning of the attack. Authorities say that Crimo was the recipient of mental health services after a failed suicide attempt. Afterward, the police removed several knives and a sword from Crimo’s apartment after he threatened to “kill everyone.” Neither of these triggered an arrest giving authorities no good reason for denying Crimo the FOID card. Now, many are wondering what more could have been done to stop the senseless attack on the July 4th parade. 

Crimo has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. While Illinois does not have the death penalty, the federal government could opt into the prosecution to pursue the death penalty against the defendant. It remains unclear if terrorism charges will be filed, but it not typical for American citizens to be charged with terrorism. That may change as more mass shootings for political reasons plague the nation. 

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