By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — A Texico man has pleaded guilty to an amended charge of sexual exploitation of a minor child.
Ray Delatore, 69, was scheduled for a bench trial on June 25 on two Class 2 felony charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a family member under the age of 18. Appearing with attorney Eddie Veltman of Centralia on Friday, the state announced a negotiated agreement had been reached.
Delatore pleaded guilty to the Class A misdemeanor charge, and the remaining felony charges were dismissed. Sexual exploitation, in essence, means an adult exhibits pornagraphic materials in the presence of a minor.
Judge Mark Stanley accepted the plea agreement and Delatore was sentenced to two years’ probation, to perform “any and all counseling that his probation officer requires,” and to register as a sex offender for 10 years. He was also ordered to pay a $250 fine plus court costs, according to State’s Attorney Doug Hoffman.
“It became apparent as we approached the trial date that we would be facing significant challenges in terms of the victim’s testimony that would have to be given at trial that created a greater risk of not being successful,” Hoffman said. “I am pleased with the negotiated sentence that we were able to reach in this case to address the defendant’s action against this victim, in particular, he will be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years which will bring with it stringent requirements to protect his victim and the public.”
As another stipulation of the sentence, Delatore is required to have no contact with the victim, who is currently 7 years of age.
The state previously agreed not to purse Class X felony charges and prosecute on the Class 2 aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges in exchange for the defendant agreeing to waive his right to a jury trial and proceed with the bench trial.
If convicted on the felony charges, Delatore could’ve been sentenced between 3 to 7 years to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
According to online court records, Delatore was initially charged with six felony charges filed on March 1, Nov. 1 and Dec. 1 of 2012.