DECATUR — She sat in a wooden chair at the prosecutor’s table and read haltingly and softly from a statement she wrote to explain how the actions of the defendant have affected her.
“Shane hurt me and I think about it all the time,” the young girl said about incidents that occurred when she was younger than 10 years old. “I have a hard time going to sleep. Then, when I get to sleep, I have nightmares that he is going to come to my house and hurt me again.”
With Shane Krall, 34, sitting nearby at the defense table, dressed in a camouflage-colored jacket, the victim said she is “scared all the time.”
“I have a hard time learning in school because I always think about what he has done,” she said at Krall’s sentencing hearing Monday morning. Krall pleaded guilty Feb. 11 to one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in prison.
After Circuit Judge Thomas E. Griffith heard the state’s recommendation of six years in prison, and the defense counsel’s plea for probation, he sentenced Krall to serve four-and-a-half years behind bars, plus two years mandatory supervised release.
Griffith also ordered him to register for life as a sex offender and pay court costs plus $700 in fines.
“The court believes a sentence of probation would deprecate the seriousness of this offense,” Griffith said. “I feel an absolute need to protect the public, especially the children.”
As part of his plea deal, four other counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse were dropped. Those charges involved two other victims, a teen girl and a young boy.
Decatur Police Detective Janette Carlton testified that the younger female victim told her that on at least two occasions Krall put his hand down her pants.
The detective said a teen girl also reported that Krall had touched her genital area, through a blanket, while she was sleeping.
The teen victim testified that Krall apologized to her after she woke up. That victim was approached by police after the younger victim’s mother reported her daughter’s abuse.
A teen male victim testified that he was abused by Krall on a daily basis, when the victim was 8 or 9 years old. He kept quiet for years “out of fear of what (Krall) would do,” but decided to tell his mother about it when he heard about the young girl’s case.
While arguing for a six-year sentence, Assistant Macon County State’s Attorney Elizabeth Dobson pointed out that Krall was diagnosed with pedophilia, an unusual diagnosis which “has to cause us the most concern” in regard to the safety of children. Defense attorney Phil Tibbs argued that Krall had no prior criminal history, was employed, pleaded guilty, is seeking help and would comply with treatment recommendations.