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More info surfaces on the “rape in Champaign”

Monday, Jan 13, 2020

* Ray Long and David Heinzmann at the Tribune

State investigators are looking into whether an explosive email that refers to keeping quiet about a “rape in Champaign” could be tied to an inmate who got out of prison early and then sexually abused a young girl, sources familiar with the probe told the Tribune. […]

On Saturday, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told the Tribune that officials are looking into whether McClain’s “rape in Champaign” reference could involve the early release of prisoners under Quinn, who came under fire for the practice in 2010.

The source said investigators are looking at the case of Scott Wayne Thompson, who is being held at a state facility for sex crime offenders in downstate Rushville. Thompson received early release from prison and then was charged with and convicted of sex abuse, records show.

At the time, Ashby worked at Rushville as a hospital manager, according to McClain’s email to state officials. That meant Ashby potentially was in position to know about Thompson being admitted to the facility for the sex crime.

* I called around and it does seem plausible. From a senior administration official who has reviewed the Department of Corrections records…

Scott W. Thompson was released early from a 2.5 year sentence for violating a sex offender registry requirement. (State law allows him a day of credit for each day served.)

For that sentence, Thompson was admitted to Big Muddy on March 17, 2009.

In addition to the 50 percent sentence requirement, on May 29, 2009 - which was 60 days into his sentence - he was given 180 days of good time credit.

He was paroled on Nov 20, 2009 and immediately violated parole at the door because he didn’t meet the terms of mandatory supervised release. He was discharged on May 20, 2010.

On Aug. 1, 2010 he was indicted in Champaign County on charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim under 13.

During 2011, Thompson was also transferred in and out of the Western Illinois Correctional Center.

He was paroled out in June 2012.

He is presently listed on the state’s sex offender registry as a sexually violent person who is in DHS custody. (In other words, Rushville)

The Quinn administration was hugely paranoid about its Meritorious Good Time Push program, but Thompson wasn’t in that accelerated program, which explains why the Rauner campaign never found him. Even so, a released prisoner who sexually assaulted a young girl would be bad for Quinn, considering the previous publicity over MGT Push.

Some people may have jumped to the conclusion that the “rape in Champaign” was about somebody close to Quinn. Most, I think, were just horrified that McClain would weaponize a rape (and ghost payrolling) for patronage purposes.

To my mind, at least, you can’t argue that this somehow exonerates McClain. He did what he did. And the Quinn administration officials he contacted need to answer why the discipline hearing for McClain’s guy was postponed the day after McClain sent that email.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

24 Comments »
  1. - anonomoose - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 9:35 am:

    Ruh roh.


  2. - Capitol Text - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 9:40 am:

    “Keeping quiet” is interesting language if this is the case. Keeping quiet makes it sound like this guy was threatening to beef this information to reporters or Republicans, because hospital managers are as a rule supposed to keep quiet under HIPAA


  3. - Perrid - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 9:41 am:

    Well, the rapist went to jail, which is better than I was expecting. I thought it was really covered up, not just kept out of the papers. Still terrible of course, but not quite as bad as I thought


  4. - Red ghetto in a blue state - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 9:43 am:

    Was it really because of patronage? Or was it weaponizing second, third, fourth hand information to protect a good actor from other bad actors?


  5. - Leatherneck - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 9:49 am:

    Original Capitol Fax coverage on the MGT controversy (Aug. 16, 2010):

    https://capitolfax.com/2010/08/16/quinn-sticks-by-randle-again/


  6. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 9:51 am:

    My goodness gracious. Aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim under the age of 13. Less than two years. We are doomed as a nation.


  7. - Nagidam - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 9:53 am:

    I said it last week and I will say this again this week. This is all on the Quinn administration. An official act, stopping discipline hearings against an individual, were done for political considerations. That is what the inspector general should be looking at. The States Attorney must complete their investigation to make sure of the facts of this “Rape”. There are four individuals that could shed light on this. They should have to answer questions under oath.


  8. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 9:53 am:

    Good reporting but key words are:
    “could involve” and “plausible”. Only McClain can clear this up.


  9. - Reality Check - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 9:54 am:

    “Thompson wasn’t in that accelerated program, which explains why the Rauner campaign never found him”

    This was in spring-summer 2010, so the campaign attacking Quinn over the early release issue was Brady.


  10. - WLDS - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 10:01 am:

    Ashby also served as the assistant warden at Western Illinois Correctional in Mt. Sterling, Illinois, which is 20 minutes away from Rushville. Ashby is a resident of Quincy. He was named to the ILETSB Board. The new head of the ILETSB is the former Adams County Sheriff (Quincy area) who replaced Mike McClain’s brother Kevin from Springfield. The connections on this go deep to our neck of the woods.


  11. - SaulGoodman - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 10:05 am:

    **This was in spring-summer 2010, so the campaign attacking Quinn over the early release issue was Brady.**

    LOL - You don’t think Rauner would have attacked Quinn over this 4 years later if they had found it?


  12. - Excitable Boy - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 10:10 am:

    - Less than two years. -

    He was designated a sexually violent person and put into the DHS facility in Rushville. Effectively that means he won’t be getting out, ever.


  13. - Leave a Light On George - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 10:25 am:

    This new reporting doesn’t change my original opinion. Anybody who saw this email and didn’t report it to authorities should be prosecuted. If they still work for the state they should be put on leave immediately pending discipline.


  14. - Annonin - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 10:30 am:

    Hmmm. So all those calls for everything and everybody to be vaporized where “premature”? Let’s see if there are any walk backs. Guessing most are busy hosing egg of various body parts.


  15. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 10:31 am:

    Seems plausible. I would think if this is the case that McClain was acting as Madigan’s representative here. Seems like a classic either help our guy out or we’ll release some bad opposition research about you scenario.


  16. - Reality Check - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 10:37 am:

    @SaulGoodman Rauner ran an ad on the MGT Push controversy but the isue was far more salient in the 2010 race v Brady. Try Google - search for “governor quinn ‘early release’” returns 26,000 results that mention Brady but only 1,000 results that mention Rauner.

    BTW, anyone could have found this by comparing records from the IDOC web site to subsequent arrest / conviction records. So “not finding it” is on both campaigns.


  17. - Rabid - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 10:41 am:

    The Email reads more like blackmail


  18. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 10:46 am:

    ===but the isue was far more salient===

    Point being, Rauner had a solid OR team.


  19. - Roman - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 10:56 am:

    Rauner hit Quinn on MGT Push, too.

    Even without that specific program, parolees committing crimes after they’re released is a frequent occurrence — and it is a political danger zone for every governor. Having high ranking corrections officials who don’t air dirty laundry is valued by any administration. McClain’s was no-so-discreetly reminding Stermer and Hannig of that.


  20. - JS Mill - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 11:05 am:

    =Ashby also served as the assistant warden at Western Illinois Correctional in Mt. Sterling, Illinois, which is 20 minutes away from Rushville. Ashby is a resident of Quincy. He was named to the ILETSB Board. The new head of the ILETSB is the former Adams County Sheriff (Quincy area) who replaced Mike McClain’s brother Kevin from Springfield. The connections on this go deep to our neck of the woods.=

    I have been Living in central Illinois for 20 years but I am from the Cook County suburbs. In that time I have listened to endless diatribes on “Chicago” corruption. I always get in trouble when I point that corruption is endemic to small towns.


  21. - frontline - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 11:10 am:

    No one should excuse McClain’s use of the situation as a tool to get what he wanted from the administration. With that said, if this scenario is what McClain was referencing thank God we aren’t dealing with an unknown victim who may be waiting for some justice.

    Please let’s not forget this man victim will be re-traumatized again because he’s in the news and his name and face are out there again.

    McClain has to live with that too.


  22. - Abaddon - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 11:27 am:

    No way. This story is a smokescreen.


  23. - statehoss - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 12:08 pm:

    I think the horror was the idea McClain was complicit in protecting a rapist from punishment.

    If the latest reports prove true, that’s not what happened. The rapist was punished.

    He was complicit in protecting a politician from blame for a policy outcome. And used it as leverage in governmental employment decisions. That’s ugly, but not in the same universe as protecting a rapist.


  24. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 12:51 pm:

    All speculation. Put everyone under oath. I think this likely to be case but Quinn already had flack for this issue so it might have been the worse case and not this pedophile.


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