A judge's dismissal of Angel Facio's request to withdraw his guilty plea in a Kane County sexual assault case has been upheld by the state's Second Appellate Court.
The court ruled that Kane County Judge Allen Anderson had "properly dismissed" the Elgin teen's request which came nearly six months after he pleaded guilty to the August 2007 rape of an 8-year-old Elgin neighbor. Facio received a 16-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to aggravated criminal sexual assault, a felony. Ten related charges were dismissed in exchange for the plea.
Facio also told the court in a filing that he had been inadequately represented by Hampshire defense attorney Nils Von Keudell. Facio said Von Keudell did not spend enough time consulting with him, failed to fully explain the significance of DNA testing in the case and intimidated him into pleading guilty.
Facio also noted in his petition that he was just 16 at the time of the plea, and that he was being treated for depression.
Facio's petition, according to the Appellate court order delivered by Justice Robert D McLaren, "failed to set out with sufficient specificity how trial counsel's representation fell below an objective standard of reasonableness."
The Appellate court said that Facio had been unable to show that his consultations with Von Keudell were insufficient, and his assertion that he had been coerced or intimidated into pleading guilty "was purely conclusory."
"For all we can tell from the petition," the court writes, "the statements that terrified defendant may have been nothing more than counsel's accurate explanation of the maximum sentence that defendant faced."
Facio was convicted in June 2008 of attempted murder in Cook County juvenile court for stabbing Elgin High School teacher Carolyn Gilbert in the head, neck and eye.
In fall 2009, a Kane County juvenile court dismissed another case in which Facio was accused of attempting to abduct a 13-year-old Larsen Middle School student.
Now held in a high security prison in downstate Pinckneyville, Facio recently spoke publicly for the first about his attack on Gilbert. He has declined, again and again, to discuss the Kane County cases noting his efforts to appeal.
"We are pleased with the Appellate court's decision to uphold the trial court's ruling," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said in a statement, noting his office had been "confident in how the proceedings were handled by Judge Anderson."