Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today (Thursday) that an Effingham County jury has found that a registered sex offender is a Sexually Violent Person (SVP) following a two-day trial. Following the jury’s decision last week, Judge Kimberly Koester ruled that 29 year-old Phillip Abraham of Effingham must remain in custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services for treatment.
Under the Sexually Violent Persons Act, Madigan’s office prosecutes cases seeking to commit offenders to the custody of IDHS as SVP’s. To be committed under the act, a person must have been convicted of a sexually violent offense and suffer from a mental disorder. Additionally, prosecutors must prove that the offender is likely to commit future acts of sexual violence if release from custody. Once admitted to IDHS, offenders are re-evaluated on a regular basis to determine if they continue to meet the criteria for commitment as a sexually violent person.
In 2006, Abraham was convicted of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in Effingham County and sentenced to a term of 10 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. His victim was 4 years-old. Prior to that conviction, he was also convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim under the age of 13 and served a period of probation.
Following the jury’s verdict, Abraham was returned to the IDHS SVP Treatment and Detention Facility in Rushville. His next court hearing is April 11, before Judge Koester.
Since the law’s enactment, 400 convicted sex offenders have been committed pursuant to the Sexually Violent Persons Act. Madigan’s office currently has an additional 189 petitions filed with courts around Illinois seeking commitment of offenders who otherwise would be released from prison. Assistant Attorneys General Nicole Nelson and Barry Schaefer are handling the case for Madigan’s Sexually Violent Persons Bureau.