In 2008, former local attorney Thomas Lakin was sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to three federal charges related to cocaine distribution. In exchange for his guilty plea to the drug charges, federal prosecutors dropped charges alleging various sex offenses against teenagers of both sexes. Yesterday, the state achieved a guilty verdict against the former Madison County powerbroker on a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against a teenage boy.
The offense happened in 2005 when the victim was between the ages of 13 and 16. Charles Colburn, Special Prosecutor for the state, says a judge found Lakin guilty in a stipulated bench trial, and was sentenced to 6 years in the Department of Corrections, and was remanded back to Texas to continue serving his federal sentence.
Colburn says Tuesday's ruling wraps up the state's investigation into Lakin. That could now open the door for a civil suit. Early last month, attorney Ed Unsell, who represents several plaintiffs, asked a Belleville judge to allow proceedings to continue 4 years after the case was barred from moving forward. The 2007 ruling stated Unsell would not pursue the civil case until the criminal investigation of Lakin was finished.