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posted: 4/29/2012 4:34 PM

74-year-old man makes Kane history — in a bad way

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A 74-year-old Aurora man has made Kane County history, but not exactly in a good way.

A jury recently convicted Thomas C. Adams, formerly of North Aurora and most recently of the 200 block of South Union Street, of felony aggravated stalking and violating an order of protection.

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Adams is the first person to be convicted by a Kane County jury under the state's updated stalking statute, which was changed effective June 2010.

The Kane County State's Attorney's Office said the law now makes it a crime to perform actions such as: driving by the victim's home; appearing within the victim's eyesight; showing up at the victim's workplace; sending packages; and having any contact with the victim that causes emotional distress.

Authorities said the victim in Adams' case filed an order of protection against him in DeKalb County court April 11, 2011 after their relationship had ended early in 2011, but Adams had continued to pursue her.

The order of protection became permanent in July 2011, but Adams drove by the victim's Sugar Grove home and workplace a combined five times in September and October 2011.

Prosecutors said the actions caused emotional distress to the victim and that Adams violated the order of protection and the new stalking statute.

Multiple messages for Adams' attorney, Robert Nolan, were not returned.

Adams, who has been held at the Kane County jail on $150,000 bail since his arrest in November, will be sentenced May 30 by Judge Marmarie Kostelny.

He faces three to nine years in prison. Probation also is an option and a judge could opt for that, given Adams' age, time already spent behind bars while the case was pending, and the fact he does not have a criminal history in Kane County.

"If anyone experiences this type of behavior from someone, they should not hesitate to call the police every time it happens. People should be able to feel safe in their homes and at work from unwanted behavior from others," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said in a prepared statement.

Your 2 cents: A committee studying whether to allow cameras and other electronic recording devices into courtrooms in the 16th Judicial Circuit -- which includes Kane, Kendall and DeKalb counties -- will meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday to get input from the public and news media organizations.

The committee, composed of judges, prosecutors, public defenders and attorneys, will meet in the third floor grand jury room at the Kane County Judicial Center, 37W777 Route 38, St. Charles.

The committee announced its intent to seek public input weeks ago, but did not have a specified room for folks to meet.

Earlier this year, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that cameras should be allowed in courtrooms on an experimental, circuit-by-circuit basis.

hhitzeman@dailyherald.com

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