Twenty-one-year-old Michael Timmons was sentenced to 180 days in jail after pleading guilty to the crime last December. He was arrested in December 2011 for a relationship with a young girl prosecutors say occurred between July and September 2011.
Morgan County assistant state’s attorney Robert Bonjean says the girl was 13 at the time of the relationship.
He says the state recommended four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for Timmons, but Morgan County Associate Judge Jeffrey Tobin went along with the recommendation of the probation department and gave him the maximum amount of jail time.
Bonjean says the gap between what Timmons got and what the state wanted isn’t as big as it sounds.
“Four years may sound like a lot- to the Illinois Department of Corrections- but they’re going to get day-for-day credits, there’s going to be other credits, and DOC may or may not have reinstituted the Meritorious Good Time [program],” he says.
“Because back when we sentenced someone to one year in the Department of Corrections, it was actually 61 days that they were serving. So, it really is probably not that far off what I think the judge fashioned, and I obviously respect the judge’s decision.”
Timmons was also given four years of probation and fined $1,765. Bonjean says part of the reason behind the sentence was the lack of criminal history for Timmons. He says further incarceration is still possible, depending on how his probation plays out.
“Putting him in county jail for an extended period of time, plus the extended period of probation, has now put the impetus on Mr. Timmons to abide by the conditions of his probation,” says Bonjean. “Obviously, if he doesn’t abide by them, then the state’s obviously in a position where we can file a petition to revoke his probation and perhaps seek a [Department of Corrections] sentence at a later time.”
Bonjean says Timmons and the 13-year-old girl knew each other. There was no evidence of physical force.
As part of his sentence, Timmons cannot have contact with the victim. He also cannot have contact with any minor unless given permission through the probation department and must complete a sex offender program.