A Carrollton man made his first court appearance today on charges accusing him of having sexual contact with a preteen female family member. The judge in Greene County, James Day, was unavailable for today’s hearing, so it was held in Morgan County Court with Judge Christopher Reif.
34 year old Justin T. Gipperich was booked into the Greene County Jail at approximately 8 p.m. last Wednesday the 16th on a charge of aggravated criminal sexual assault involving a victim younger than 13 years old.
Gipperich was originally arrested for predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, indecent solicitation of a minor, criminal sexual assault of a family member, child pornography, domestic battery and providing harmful material to a minor. He has now been formally charged with three counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 and two counts of possession of child pornography.
Greene County State’s Attorney Caleb Briscoe explains why today’s first appearance for Gipperich was held in the Morgan County Courthouse.
“Gipperich was taken into custody last week. Unfortunately, Judge Day was out of the state and unavailable at the end of last week and through this week. So I contacted Judge Reif in order to set bond. Today was the earliest he could actually see Gipperich, but Judge Reif was able to bond was set within 48 hours of taking Gipperich into custody, at $250,000 with 10% to apply.”
Briscoe describes how the five counts against Gipperich were formulated.
“Originally, the officers made certain determinations about what Gipperich should have been arrested for. In talking with them and reviewing things, we decided to go with the predatory criminal sexual assault of a minor charges because they are the most serious. Each of the three counts is an automatic Class X felony. Possible sentence includes six (6) to sixty (60) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for each count with no possibility for probation. We did want to also move forward with two charges of illegal possession of child pornography, because those are very serious offenses as well.”
Gipperich requested a public defender. Briscoe explains who was appointed.
“Tom Piper is the Greene County public defender, as well as serving in Morgan County and elsewhere in west central Illinois. Attorney Piper was officially appointed today to represent Gipperich moving forward.”
Gipperich has officially been charged with three counts predatory criminal sexual assault of a child under the age of 13. As explained today by Judge Reif, these charges stem from three separate periods of time, being December of 2017, December of 2018, and January 11th of this year. In addition, the two counts of child pornography stem from DVDs found during a conducted search warrant. There are two counts because one is, according to court documentation, for possession of video footage of a child under the age of 13 engaging in sexual intercourse with an adult human, while the other count is for video footage of a child under the age of 18 engaging in sexual intercourse with an animal. Gipperich will next appear in Greene County Court for a preliminary hearing on January 30th at 1:15 p.m.