No longer a sex offender: Man’s conviction now based on misdemeanor

By on June 11, 2009

by Martha Quetsch
Thomas L. Maurer, of Elburn, no longer must register as a child sex offender, which he had to do since 2004, when he was convicted of soliciting sex from a child.

Maurer, 67, pled guilty to the offense five years ago. However, on May 27, he negotiated a new guilty plea with the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office on a lesser crime, a Class C misdemeanor assault.

“His (initial) conviction was reversed,” said Maurer’s attorney, Daniel Hofmann.

Kane County State’s Attorney’s office spokesman Chris Nelson confirmed that the court accepted the new plea.

The misdemeanor conviction does not require Maurer to be registered on the state’s public record of child sex offenders’ names addresses, Hofmann said.

Hofmann said his client agreed to plea to a misdemeanor instead of being retried, as he previously requested.

“It was something he could accept,” Hofmann said.

Maurer was arrested in 2004 during a police sting operation in the 1400 block of Covington Court in St. Charles, where he had arranged to meet a 14-year-old girl, who actually was an undercover adult officer. He was convicted of soliciting sex from a child and sentenced to 24 months of specialized sex offender probation.

In 2006, Maurer asked for a retrial, saying medication he took for Parkinson’s disease at the time of the crime caused a lack of impulse control, according to court documents. Kane County Circuit Court Judge Grant Wegner turned down his request in 2008, stating Maurer did not show other hypersexual behavior alleged to be side effects of the medication, Requip.

Maurer appealed the decision to the Illinois Appellate Court, which ruled on April 12 that he could be retried in Kane. The higher court ruling stated that at the time of his original guilty plea, the possible side effects of Maurer’s medication were not known.

The prosecutor with whom Maurer negotiated the new plea was unavailable to comment about why the State’s Attorney’s office decided not to retry the case and instead accepted a guilty plea on a lesser charge.

The charge on which Maurer was convicted could be changed to a misdemeanor because the offense involved a significant attempt to insult or provoke, Hofmann said.

“The contact he made with the undercover police officer met that (Class C misdemeanor assault) stipulation,” Hofmann said.

Maurer served two years of probation after his 2004 conviction and will not face another sentencing based on his new plea, his attorney said.

“His sentence is considered served,” Hofmann said.

Maurer had been a part-time photographer for the Elburn Herald at the time of his arrest.