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Convicted Decatur child sex offender receives four-year prison sentence

Convicted Decatur child sex offender receives four-year prison sentence

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DECATUR — Mark A. Marquis, convicted of sexually abusing two Decatur boys under 10 over a period of years, was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday.

Marquis, 68, had been convicted by a jury of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse Oct. 23 after a three-day trial. He was sentenced to four years on each count, but Judge Erick Hubbard ordered the sentences to run concurrently. They will be served at 50% and Marquis will be given credit for 459 days spent in the Macon County Jail since his arrest.

He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Marquis had originally faced a total of 11 charges but two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and two aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges had been overturned on directed verdicts before they reached the jury. The jurors then found him not guilty on three further counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

The two guilty verdicts applied to each of the victims, who were aged under 10 when they were assaulted in a span of time from 2005 to 2011.

Marquis had protested his innocence and his wife, called as a character witness Tuesday and cross-examined by special prosecutor Kate Kurtz, was asked whether she believed the sexual assaults had taken place. “No, no I don’t,” she replied.

Kurtz told the judge she had no doubt Marquis’s wife and friends who testified to his good character were telling the truth as they saw it. She described Marquis as a stealthy predator who carefully hid his appetite for sexually abusing kids. She said that is why the parents of the victims thought their boys would be safe on regular visits to his home.

“And instead they were not safe,” said Kurtz. “They were preyed on for years.”

Marquis, sitting hunched forward in a wheelchair, said he wanted to address the court but appeared to struggle for words. He told the judge he’d always had a clean record and had never been arrested before this incident. “Now I’ve been in jail for over a year,” he added.

Defending, Steve Jones pleaded for mercy and also emphasized his client’s clean “not even a traffic ticket” record. He described Marquis as a man in poor health who wants to go home to his family.

“We’re talking about a 68-year-old man who has suffered at least two strokes, has had colon cancer, has a pacemaker ...” said Jones. “And he’s on antidepressants because of depression.” Jones said “warehousing him” in a prison cell would not benefit Marquis or society.

But Hubbard said he had weighed all the facts carefully and a sentence of probation would “deprecate the seriousness” of what Marquis had done.

Jones immediately filed a motion for the sentence to be reconsidered as excessive. 


Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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