James LopesEDWARDSVILLE — A Madison County jury today upheld a declaration filed by State's Attorney Tom Gibbons that James Lopes is a sexually dangerous person. He has subsequently been transferred to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Gibbons said.

The petition to declare Lopes a sexually dangerous person was filed by Gibbons and he expressed his happiness with the verdict, stating: “I want to thank the members of the jury for their service and the verdict they returned today. I also want to recognize the extraordinary work of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the attorneys from our Children’s Justice Division. Their commitment to justice allowed us to secure this verdict that will ensure the safety of the children of our community by keeping this dangerous predator behind bars indefinitely."

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Assistant State’s Attorney’s Kathleen Nolan, Chief of the Children’s Justice Division, and Alison Foley, of the Children’s Justice Division, presented evidence during the trial to support the state’s petition to declare Lopes sexually dangerous. Lopes elected to represent himself, refusing the assistance of a court-appointed attorney. Jurors heard testimony from two witnesses of a 2012 incident in Portland, Ore. In that case, Lopes was charged with attempted sex abuse against an 8-year-old girl. Two independent mental health experts also testified regarding their evaluations completed to determine whether or not Lopes meets the state standards for a declaration of sexually dangerous.

Their opinions agreed that he is sexually dangerous and that the severity and complexity of his mental health diagnosis makes it unlikely that he could be successfully treated or rehabilitated.

Lopes has remained in custody at the Madison County Jail since his arrest by Madison County Sheriff’s Deputies in April 2016.

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