Man committed for being “sexually dangerous person”

By Jim McCabe on November 2 at 7:09am

A Jacksonville man has been ruled a “sexually dangerous person” and will be held indefinitely for treatment at a mental facility.

According to a press release from Scott County State’s Attorney Michael Hill, 34-year-old James Howe was ordered to be taken to an Illinois Department of Corrections building for civil commitment under the Sexually Dangerous Persons Act by Circuit Judge John Schmidt this week.

Howe was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault last June after an incident that occurred in December 2011 in Manchester. Hill filed a petition last October to have Howe evaluated by psychiatrists to determine if he was a sexually dangerous person.

A four-day trial this week included testimony from psychiatrists who evaluated Howe’s relationships with four different women and from law enforcement who had investigated past incidents with several of the women.

Schmidt stated in a written ruling that the “brutality” of the sexual assaults were “shocking.”

Howe has served multiple prison terms for several previous sex crimes, most recently an 18-month term for a Morgan County conviction of unlawful restraint and failure to register as a sex offender.