A South Elgin man was sentenced Thursday to 36 years in prison for sexually assaulting a child he knew.
William Muth, 46, was also sentenced to four years in prison for aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
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Kane County Circuit Judge David Akemann could have sentenced Muth to as many as 120 years in prison. Assistant State's Attorney Christine Bayer had asked for 10 years each on the six predatory criminal sexual assault counts, and five years each on aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Muth will have to serve at least 85 percent of the time on the assault charges, and the sentences for those run consecutively. He will have to serve at least 50 percent of the time on the abuse charges. Those sentences are concurrent, but separate from the assault sentences. All told, he faces at least 32 years in prison.
The sentencing hearing began Wednesday.
Muth's mother, testifying as a character witness, believes Muth is innocent of the charges. "Have mercy and give him the shortest amount o time possible. This many people cannot be wrong," Rose Callahan said.
His father, Stephen, testified Muth is a Christian who was a deacon and sang in the choir at a church.
William Muth said he has been helping cellmates in jail and prison, as he explains to them how they can start a business when they get out, such as he did selling nutritional supplements online. He said upon leaving prison, he would like to work with the Department of Corrections to develop a video program about business for inmates.
"God has placed a burden on my heart to reach out to them spiritually," William Muth said.
Five relatives and his pastor filed letters on his behalf.
Before the sentencing hearing began, attorney Kathleen Colton tried to get the conviction thrown out, arguing that a Child Advocacy Center investigator's interview of the child was suggestive and leading, and that the child had no idea what the investigator was asking. Muth has maintained the child mistook as abuse his cleaning of the child after the child soiled their clothes. The child was 5 and 6 when the assaults happened.
"This is not a minimum case," Bayer said. "It is ritualized abuse."
Bayer tried to get Akemann to consider evidence from Muth's child pornography case, but Akemann upheld an objection by Muth's attorney.
Muth, 46, was convicted in October 2010 for possession of child pornography, and sentenced in April to three years in prison. Police, acting on a tip from the FBI, found more than 1,000 images, and seven videos, on his computer. Muth maintained he didn't know child pornography was in a large file of pornography he had downloaded, and that he had turned to viewing pornography while having marital problems after the death of a child.