A Kane County judge ruled Wednesday that a former North Aurora man should be detained until a trial is held to determine if he is a danger to society and should be committed indefinitely into state custody.
Daniel P. Stage Jr. has finished serving a four-year sentence for criminal sexual abuse of a toddler he knew in 2000, but he told a psychologist about his past pattern of sexually abusing and assaulting severely mentally disabled boys and girls, along with fantasies about children.
Officials from the Illinois attorney general's office used this information to argue that Stage is a danger to the public and want him committed to the Department of Human Services.
Ari Telisman, assistant attorney general, argued that Stage fit the three criteria needed for a person to be declared a sexually violent person under a 1998 law: He was convicted of a violent sex crime, suffers from two mental disorders and is "substantially probable" to engage in future acts of violence.
"Just because you say, 'I take responsibility for the things I've done,' doesn't mean he can stop himself from doing it again," Telisman argued to Kane County Judge Allen Anderson. "The bottom line is this is an individual whose risk is high."
Before his release from prison this spring, Stage met with Deborah Nicolai, a licensed clinical psychologist. Stage said he began having fantasies about children when he was 14, and sexually abused and assaulted severely mentally disabled children while he was working at schools and facilities in Elgin and DuPage County in the 1990s, according to court documents.
Stage also said that while on probation after a 2007 conviction -- for which he later was sent to prison -- he trolled websites of child models and fantasized about children he saw at the grocery store.
Kane County Assistant Public Defender Brenda Willett questioned Nicolai's assessment that Stage is still a danger. Willett did not dispute the pedophilia diagnosis, but noted that Stage voluntarily disclosed his past episodes of abuse and there was no evidence he'd committed any crime for at least 12 years.
"The state has not shown probable cause," Willett said.
Stage is due in court again Aug. 29. Telisman said a jury trial will eventually be held to determine if Stage is sexually violent and if convicted, a judge will decide if Stage should be committed indefinitely into state custody.
Since the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act went into effect in 1998, the attorney general's office has had more than 330 people committed to the Rushville Treatment and Detention Facility, which is operated by the state's Department of Human Services, until they are deemed fit to re-enter society.