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updated: 12/12/2011 4:58 PM

North Aurora man acquitted in scalding case sues police, prosecutors

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  • Jason Barnes

      Jason Barnes

 
 

A North Aurora man acquitted over the summer of scalding his then 19-month-old son so severely that his toes had to be amputated has sued the Kane County State's Attorney's Office and Children's Advocacy Center, North Aurora Police and other agencies claiming malicious prosecution, unlawful arrest and conspiracy.

Jason Barnes, who was found not guilty midway through a bench trial in June, is acting as his own attorney in the lawsuit, which seeks more than $100,000 in damages.

In the suit, filed earlier this month in Kane County, Barnes claims he was denied due process after his son, now about 3, was severely scalded Aug. 15, 2009 while Barnes watched him and his older sister at his home in the 700 block of Lloyd Lane.

Faced with up to 60 years in prison, Barnes was found not guilty halfway through a bench trial in June 2011 in a directed finding by Judge Timothy Sheldon.

In a directed finding, a judge considers evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution. It's a routine motion in most criminal cases that is usually rejected by a judge without much deliberation.

Sheldon ruled he could not convict Barnes on medical opinion alone, and that the state didn't have enough evidence for the trial to move forward.

"Defendants violated plaintiff's right to a fair and full trial by suppressing, and conspiring among themselves to suppress exculpatory evidence, refusal to investigate credible leads, swearing out false warrants and otherwise influencing the identification process by engaging in a pattern of willful and deliberate conduct specifically intended to prevent plaintiff from receiving a fair trial," Barnes wrote in his lawsuit.

After the June verdict, Barnes said his hot water heater had an unusually large amount of sediment inside it, causing the water to run extremely hot.

Lori Chassee, executive director of the Kane County Child Advocacy Center, referred inquiries to the Kane County State's Attorney's Office, which said it does not comment on ongoing litigation.

A message left with North Aurora Police Chief David Summer also was not returned.

No criminal charges of misconduct have been filed against any prosecutors, police or other investigators in relation to Barnes' criminal case.

Neither Barnes nor Sandra Byrd, who was Barnes' criminal defense attorney, could not be reached for comment Monday.

The case is set for an initial hearing Feb. 16.

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