DECATUR — John T. McKown faces the prospect of spending all of his remaining years behind bars after the 70-year-old Decatur man was found guilty Tuesday on multiple counts of sexually assaulting and abusing a boy younger than 15.

Macon County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Griffith convicted McKown of one count of predatory criminal sexual assault, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and one count of possession of child pornography.

The predatory criminal sexual assault conviction is a Class X felony with a sentencing range of six to 60 years and must be served at 85 percent. The aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges carry sentences of three to seven years, to be served concurrently with each other but consecutive to the Class X felony. The child porn conviction has a sentencing range of two to five years.

McKown was ordered to remain the custody of the Macon County Jail, and Griffith scheduled a sentencing hearing for June 12.

The bench trial had been spaced over four separate dates and also saw Griffith find McKown, represented by public defender Tiffany Senger, not guilty of two other counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

The case, prosecuted by Assistant State's Attorney Kate Kurtz, involved accusations from the child that he had been repeatedly raped and assaulted by McKown over five years and hinged on defense attempts to portray the child as a fantasizing liar who made up stories. Senger said the boy’s testimony was repeatedly inconsistent about times, places and events, and he said many things that were “demonstrably untrue.”

“So just because (the boy) said it, doesn’t make it true," Senger said.

Senger said the child may have gotten some of his sexual fantasy ideas from visiting McKown’s basement. Down there, the court heard, the defendant kept pictures of children cut from magazines that he then defaced with pornographic images, which led to the pornography charge.

Griffith described the picture collection as “perverse” and “sick,” and while he did not find evidence to substantiate all the charges against McKown, he told him: “There is no doubt in my mind that something bad happened to (the boy).”

2019 mug shots from the Herald & Review

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


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