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Illinois Personal Injury & Criminal Defense / Blog / Criminal Defense / Defendant Sentenced to 20 Years for Aggravated Battery of a Child

Defendant Sentenced to 20 Years for Aggravated Battery of a Child


In the case of People v. Steele, the defendant, Steele, was convicted of aggravated battery of a child, a Class X felony in Illinois. As a result of the conviction, the defendant was sentenced to 20 years in state prison, to be served at 85% with three years of mandatory supervised release.

The defendant appealed his conviction based on the claim that the State failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. He argued that his conviction primarily rested on circumstantial evidence that failed to produce reasonable certainty that the defendant and no one else caused the complainant’s injuries and that the defendant knew that his actions would cause great bodily harm. The defendant also argued that the State abused its discretion when it allowed prior evidence of domestic violence into the trial. The defendant argued that the two prior instances of domestic violence were not factually similar to the acts that were alleged during the trial and were therefore more prejudicial than probative.

The appellate court upheld the decision of the circuit court and found the defendant guilty of aggravated battery of a child.


In this case, the victim, a minor identified as L.S., was admitted to a hospital and showed signs of abuse and neglect. The defendant was living with his girlfriend who was the mother of the child. During a medical appointment, the staff noted that the child had an enlarged head. Doctors performed an ultrasound and CT scan to determine the cause. After reviewing the test results, the doctors became concerned that there was bleeding on the child’s brain which could be a sign of abuse. The director of Child Protection Services was contacted and the child was admitted to the hospital for more tests.

The child’s doctors ordered MRIs and X-rays. The X-rays revealed 14 rib fractures on 12 of the child’s ribs and a skull fracture to the right side of the child’s head. The child further sustained an injury to the frontal lobe of his brain. A doctor also noted that there was some hemorrhaging in the child’s eyes. Both the defendant and his girlfriend were charged with abuse of the child.

The trial 

Both the defendant and his girlfriend were tried during a joint bench trial during which one of the child’s doctors testified on the injuries the child suffered. The doctor testified that the injuries that the child suffered were from abuse. The doctor stated that the infant could not have sustained the injury on his own. The defendant testified that the child suffered his rib injuries after he rolled off a couch and that the head trauma was sustained when he bumped his head on his crib. The doctor testified that these injuries were not caused by accidental trauma and that the defendants had abused and injured the child by force.

Talk to a Champaign, IL Criminal Defense Attorney Today 

If you have been charged with a serious criminal offense, call the Champaign criminal defense attorneys at Patel Law, P.C. today to schedule an appointment and allow us to begin preparing your defense immediately.



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