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Judge sentencing Decatur man, 70, to 20 years in child rape case: 'vile, heinous, disgusting behavior'

Judge sentencing Decatur man, 70, to 20 years in child rape case: 'vile, heinous, disgusting behavior'

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DECATUR — A judge told a convicted 70-year-old Decatur child sex predator that he was guilty of “vile, heinous, disgusting behavior” before sentencing him to a total of 20 years in prison Monday afternoon.

John T. McKown had been convicted of repeatedly raping and assaulting a boy under the age of 15 at a Macon County Circuit Court bench trial before Judge Thomas Griffith that concluded May 7.

Monday’s sentencing hearing saw Griffith sentence McKown to 15 years on a charge of predatory criminal sexual assault, to be served at 85 percent. He was also sentenced to five years on two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, the sentence to run consecutively to the 15 year sentence.

McKown had also been convicted on a charge of possession of child pornography, and he was given a three year sentence on that count. It will run concurrently with the five years imposed for the aggravated criminal sexual abuse, effectively adding up to a total sentence of 20 years.

McKown had pleaded his innocence throughout and had been found not guilty of two further counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

The charges against him date back over a period of several years and the prosecution said the defendant had repeatedly abused the boy from the age of 6 through 11. Many of the offenses took place in a basement “man cave” that McKown covered with pornographic images of children.

Child 1st Center Advocate Todd Tuggle read out a victim impact statement from the boy. The child said he now suffered nightmares and didn’t like to be touched, especially by older people.

“(This crime) ... made me depressed, scared, angry and I did not know how to tell anyone,” said the boy.

Prosecuting, Assistant Macon County State’s Attorney Kate Kurtz had called for a total sentence of 27 years. She said McKown had “abused a position of trust ... and he abused it in the most heinous, ugly fashion possible.”

Public Defender Tiffany Senger said the defendant was a veteran with a clean criminal record. She said he had struggled for years to control his sexual attraction to children, an attraction triggered by abuse suffered when he was a boy himself.

Senger asked the court to consider his age and the fact that any sentence he gets is likely to be a life sentence. “So we are simply asking the court to show some mercy,” she added.

Griffith said what the boy had endured would scar him for the rest of his life and had to be punished severely.


Mug shots from the Herald & Review 


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

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