EDWARDSVILLE - A judge Friday sentenced a child sex offender to 22 years in prison after he confirmed he had committed sex acts with a foster child, a 7-year-old girl, while there were other children in the house.

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Kevin D. Tayon, 48, of Granite City, assaulted the girl over a period of years but pleaded guilty to one of five class X counts with which he was charged. In exchange for his plea, the state dropped four other charges of predatory criminal sexual assault.

Circuit Judge Kyle Napp noted that, with his plea, Tayon spared the little girl the pain of having to testify in court but also noted that he benefited by possibly avoiding conviction of four other acts, which could have resulted in a total of 150 years in prison.

She said she found the victim credible as she watched a recorded interview at the Child Advocacy Center, but found it hard to accept. She said Tayor then admitted there were other children in the house.

“She will be a victim for her entire life,” the judge told Tayon. “You are deceptively likable. That is why you are a predator.”

Tayon was charged in April 2020 after the victim was released from the foster care system and sent back to her biological parents.

Before the child disclosed the assaults to her parents, Tayon threatened to kill her father if she told anyone about the crimes, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Jake Harlow.

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“Worse, the victim had been bounced around in the foster care system,” Harlow told the judge during a sentencing hearing Friday.

“This was not a momentary lapse. This was a persistent crime,” the prosecutor said. The charging document alleges he committed the five acts of sexual penetration between June 1, 2016, and April 1, 2018.

Harlow told the judge that, during a recorded police interrogation, Tayon tried to blame the victim by claiming she had “already been sexualized.” He claimed she asked for him to commit the acts.

“It would be laughable if it didn’t show how twisted his mind is,” Harlow said.

Harlow said Tayon sought out the position and got paid for it. “He used it to do evil things,” he said.

“What we do to our children, we do to society in general. If you become a foster parent to commit a crime, the penalty should be severe,” Harlow said.

Tayon will get credit for time served in the Madison County Jail, where he was held in lieu of $1 million bail. He must serve at least 85 percent of the 22 years. He has no prior criminal record.

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