Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced Friday that a Madison County judge has found that a registered sex offender is a sexually violent person following a one-day trial.
Judge Jennifer L. Hightower ruled William Ducksworth, 43, of East St. Louis, must remain in the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services for treatment.
“Allowing this offender to reenter society would pose a significant threat to the safety of children in the community,” Madigan said.
Under the Sexually Violent Persons Act, Madigan’s office prosecutes cases seeking to commit offenders to the custody of IDHS as sexually violent persons. To be committed under the act, a person must have been convicted of a sexually violent offense and suffer from a mental disorder. Additionally, prosecutors must prove that the offender is likely to commit future acts of sexual violence if released from custody. Once committed to IDHS, offenders are re-evaluated on a regular basis to determine if they continue to meet the criteria for commitment as a sexually violent person.
Following the judge’s verdict, Ducksworth was returned to the IDHS SVP Treatment and Detention Facility in Rushville, Ill. His next court hearing is March 31.
Previously, in 2011, Ducksworth was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and sentenced to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Since the law’s enactment, 401 convicted sex offenders have been committed pursuant to the Sexually Violent Persons Act. Madigan’s office currently has an additional 190 petitions filed with courts around Illinois seeking commitment of offenders who otherwise would be released from prison.
Assistant Attorneys General Nicole Nelson and Anna Young are handling the case for Madigan’s Sexually Violent Persons Bureau.