Suspect in 2013 rape could be held for decades. Officials say he's dangerous, still unfit for trial

  • Stanford E. Thompson

    Stanford E. Thompson

 
 
Updated 8/16/2019 9:41 AM

A 39-year-old man charged with sexually assaulting a woman outside a party in Elgin in 2013 is still unfit to stand trial and a serious public safety threat, authorities say, and could be held in a state mental institution for 30 years or more.

Stanford E. Thompson, formerly of Chicago, has been held by the state's Department of Human Services for the past four years after being found unfit to stand trial in early 2015, according to Kane County court records.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Kane County Judge John Barsanti this week ruled that Thompson -- who has a low IQ and moderate to mild mental disability -- is still a "serious threat to public safety" and subject to involuntary admission to a mental institution under the state's Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code.

Thompson was arrested in August 2013 on charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint.

Elgin police said Thompson met a 25-year-old woman at a party on the 400 block of Barrett Street on the city's southeast side, lured her outside and sexually assaulted her behind a garage. The woman screamed for help, and witnesses who heard the screams called 911 and identified Thompson as the attacker. He was arrested about a block away.

Barsanti made his ruling after a hearing earlier this year in which Dr. Kathryn Holt, director of a medium-security Choate Mental Health Center in Anna, Illinois, testified that Thompson had an IQ of about 56 -- 100 is average -- and a "functioning age" of 11, according to court records.

Holt also testified that Thompson scored on 16 of 20 factors in a risk assessment for future violence. She also testified in a spring 2016 hearing that Thompson had been "aggressive both physically and verbally" eight times in a six-month span at the facility.

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The test, HCR-20, is widely accepted and considered the gold standard for violence risk assessments, Barsanti wrote in his ruling.

Holt determined that Thompson "is a threat to public safety and in need of mental health treatment on an inpatient basis for the safety of himself and others," read part of Barsanti's ruling.

The next step is for prosecutors and Assistant Public Defender Brenda Willett to have a hearing Aug. 23 to determine how long Thompson will be confined.

Under the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code, Thompson could be sentenced to a mental health facility for the same duration as if he were convicted of all four counts against him in the August 2013 rape case.

That punishment ranges from 30 to 63 years in prison.

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