Monday, May 20, 2013
A man awaiting sentencing on a child pornography conviction he caught for secretly videoing his naked teenage stepdaughter showed up at his former home in Joliet with a police officer to collect his things.
When Timothy Zak went to court May 7 to be sentenced to as many as seven years in prison for secretly videoing his naked teenage stepdaughter, he was allowed another month of freedom before learning his fate. The day after his sentencing was postponed, Zak returned to the scene of the crime, turning up at the Joliet home where he had set up a hidden camera to record his unwitting stepdaughter, according to a petition filed by Zak's wife. "On this date Timothy Zak showed up at my residence with a Joliet police officer who had been given the impression that Timothy and I were having some marital trouble and he wanted to come pick up some of his belongings," Zak's wife said in her petition for a protective order. The wife filled the cop in …
Friday, April 26, 2013
A Will County judge will decide whether the lawyer for a Plainfield teen can pursue the psychiatric records of the boy he is charged with sexually abusing.
The lawyer for a Plainfield teen charged with sexually abusing a child is trying to get a hold of the boy's psychiatric records. "I'm not making this request to embarrass or be insensitive to the alleged victim in this case in any way, shape or form," said Neil Patel, the attorney for 19-year-old Jason Minger. Rather, Patel said during a Friday morning court hearing, "The state has indicated that the victim will testify," and the information may prove useful when questioning the boy while he is on the witness stand. According to Patel and to court papers he filed, the boy was undergoing counseling when he told his mother Minger sexually abused him, but he had never mentioned it to the counselor. After informing his mother, the boy also …
Saturday, April 20, 2013
A former Plainfield North gym teacher pleaded guilty to meeting a teen for sex. And that was just one of the things going on in court this week.
More than two years after the police caught her in a car with a half-dressed student from the high school where she was a teacher, Ashley Blumenshine copped a plea. Blumenshine, a 30-year-old former Plainfield North gym teacher, will have to do 11 days in jail. She will also spend two years on sex offender probation and 10 yeas on the Illinois sex offender registry. She tearfully apologized before she was taken into custody to start doing her time. Let's look at what else was going on in the area's courthouses this past week: Check out all these stories and more on our Facebook page.
Friday, April 19, 2013
The attorneys for Joliet woman Margarita Hernandez said Google is still supplying them with records.
Lawyers defending a Joliet woman against charges she set up a sex date with a teenage boy at the west side home she shares with her 77-year-old lover said they are still gathering email records from Google. Margarita Hernandez, 33, was arrested in October after allegedly orchestrating the sexual liaison with the teen. The youth is a friend of the son of one of Hernandez's cousins, officials said. Hernandez's 77-year-old live-in boyfriend, veteran weekly newspaperman John Gabriel, was home at the time of the alleged sex date, police said. Gabriel has stood by Hernandez since her arrest. He claimed she is nothing more than a patsy in a frame-up concocted by the numerous enemies he has made over the years in the cutthroat world of community …
Former Plainfield North High School gym teacher Ashley Blumenshine apologized as she was sentenced to 11 days in jail and 10 years on the state's sex offender registry.
A tearful Ashley Blumenshine choked out an apology between sobs after pleading guilty to having sex with a teenage student from the high school where she was a teacher. "I will forever be humbled and remorseful for my actions," Blumenshine, a former Plainfield North gym teacher, said before she was handcuffed and led away to the Will County jail Friday morning to serve 11 days behind bars. The actual sentence was 30 days but it was halved by day-for-day credit. Blumenshine already served four of the remaining 15 days before she was released on bond. In addition to the time in jail, Blumenshine, 30, was put on sex offender probation for two years and will be placed on the Illinois sex offender registry for 10 years. Blumenshine faced much …
Thursday, April 11, 2013
A Joliet man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to child pornography and unlawful videotaping charges will be sentenced next month.
A former Joliet resident who pleaded guilty to child pornography and unlawful videotaping charges will be sentenced next month. Timothy Zak, 45, appeared in court Wednesday but his attorney, Vincent Cornelius, said he was still waiting on a sex offender evaluation to be completed. Zak was arrested in October after police said they learned he had secretly recorded his teenage stepdaughter getting in and out of the shower. Zak was reportedly living with the teen in a Waterway Court house on the city's far west side when the videos were recorded but resided in Wheaton at the time of his arrest, according to jail records. Police initially secured only two felony charges of unlawfully videotaping a person younger than 18 against Zak, but an …
Monday, April 8, 2013
A single "issue" is holding up former Plainfield North gym teacher Ashley Blumenshine's plea deal, her lawyer said.
Former Plainfield North gym teacher Ashley Blumenshine planned to plead guilty to having sex with a teenage student but a single "issue" derailed the deal—at least for a couple weeks, her lawyer said. "It was our intention to plead today," attorney George Lenard told Will County Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak during a brief hearing Monday morning. But "one issue" has gummed up the plea deal, Lenard said, "So we're going to need more time." After the hearing, Lenard said he could not specify what was holding up the plea. Charles B. Pelkie, the spokesman for the state's attorney's office, also declined to comment. Judge Bertani-Tomczak set an April 19 date for Blumenshine to return to court. Blumenshine, 29, was arrested in January 2011 after …
Saturday, April 6, 2013
A New Lenox man spoke of his "horrific" ordeal in the county jail after he was arrested for a murder someone else was wanted for.
We started the week off by talking with the New Lenox man jailed for two weeks for a murder allegedly committed by someone else with the same name. Pedro Hernandez, 67, said his time in the Will County jail was "horrific," and that he's looking for a lawyer to talk to about filing a lawsuit. But Hernandez's ordeal was just one of the things going on last week. There was also: Check out all these stories and more on our Facebook page.
Friday, February 1, 2013
Telephones and computers changed hands in court Friday and Margarita Hernandez's trial next week on sex charges was canceled.
An FBI agent returned the cell phone of a woman charged with setting up a sex romp with a teenage boy, and the woman immediately surrendered the phone to a Joliet police detective during a brief court hearing Friday morning. Also Friday, computers seized from the woman's home on Joliet's far west side were turned over by the police detective. The computers were taken by lawyers defending her against charges she had sex with a 15-year-old from Chicago. The attorneys representing Margarita Hernandez, Steve Landis and Dan Locallo, said they took the computers for safekeeping and that they would be tested by experts to see if Hernandez used them to communicate with the teen. Hernandez, 33, was arrested in October after allegedly orchestrating …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The trial for a Joliet woman charged with setting up a sex date with a teenage boy was scheduled for Monday, and one lawyer said she may be the patsy in a frame-up.
The lawyers for a Joliet woman charged with setting up a sex date with a teenage boy have yet to see evidence supposedly held by the FBI, but unless they back down on a demand for a quick resolution to her case, she may have to go to trial on Monday. Will County Judge Edward Burmila said during a Wednesday hearing that he was not going to hold local prosecutors responsible for coughing up evidence in the possession of the FBI and that he would not delay Monday's trial date for Margarita Hernandez—unless Hernandez's lawyers agree to postpone the proceedings. Hernandez, 33, was arrested in October after allegedly orchestrating a sexual liaison with a 15-year-old Chicago boy. The teen is the friend of the son of one of Hernandez's cousins, …