Ex-doctor faces prison for pot operation, still fighting rape charges
A former Geneva doctor who is fighting a 2012 sexual assault case pleaded guilty Wednesday to a separate 2015 charge for running a marijuana-growing operation.
Mark G. Lewis, 58, of St. Charles pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis with intent to deliver and possession of a firearm while his Firearm Owner's Identification card was revoked, both felonies. The most severe charge of possession with intent to deliver carries a prison term of six to 30 years, with no chance of probation.
Lewis was set for a bench trial Thursday before Kane County Judge John Barsanti.
Instead, Barsanti will sentence Lewis on March 2. Lewis entered a "blind" or "cold" plea in which a defendant admits guilt without an agreement with prosecutors and leaves the sentencing decision to a judge.
Defense attorney Timothy Mahoney said he plans to call some witnesses and submit numerous letters of support at the sentencing hearing.
Lewis has been held at the Kane County jail without bail since his arrest in early May 2015 on the drug charges.
He was arrested in 2014 on charges he sexually assaulted a woman he knew at his St. Charles house in late 2012. He had posted bail in that case when members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, a unit of the state police, executed a search warrant at his house on the 0-99 block of Squire Lane in St. Charles.
Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Kelly Orland said authorities found more than 11,000 grams -- more than 24 pounds -- of processed marijuana, along with an indoor growing operation. Orland said a test of 6,886 grams came back positive for pot.
Orland said police also found a Taurus revolver at Lewis' house. Under his bond conditions on the rape case, he was prohibited from possessing any firearms.
When Lewis was arrested, police found 110 marijuana plants in the setup, which included an irrigation system and carbon dioxide generator to promote growth, prosecutors said.
Orland also noted Lewis could be ordered to pay a drug fine equivalent to the street value of the drugs seized. Orland did not specify in court Wednesday the estimated value of the seized marijuana, but authorities said when Lewis was arrested that the drugs were worth about $600,000.
Lewis is still fighting charges he sexually assaulted a woman Nov. 16, 2012, while she slept at his house. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and registration as a sex offender. A new trial date has not been set.