Jury finds Arenzville man still a sexually violent person

By Ryne Turke on October 17, 2016 at 12:50pm

A Morgan County jury found that a registered sex offender from Arenzville is still a sexually violent person.

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office made that announcement Friday following a three-day trial.

The “State Journal Register” reports that Morgan County Circuit Judge Jeffery Tobin ruled 41-year-old Donnie Barrett must remain in the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services for treatment.

Under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, Madigan’s office prosecutes cases seeking to commit offenders to the custody of DHS. To be committed under the act, a person must have been convicted of a sexually violent offense and suffer from a mental disorder.

Prosecutors must also prove the offender is likely to commit future acts of sexual violence if released from custody. Once committed to DHS, offenders are re-evaluated on a regular basis to determine if they continue to meet the criteria for commitment as a sexually violent person.

The SJR reports Barrett was previously convicted in several cases for sexually abusing children. In 1997 he was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for molesting four children under the age of 13, including a six-year-old girl.

While on parole in 2000, Barrett was convicted of sexual exploitation of a child for exposing himself to a school bus of approximately 25 students between the ages of 10 and 17.

After his release from prison in 2005, Barrett violated his probation and was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for sexually abusing a friend’s son who was under the age of 13.

Since the SVP law was put in place, more than 400 convicted sex offenders have been committed to the custody of DHS.