CHAMPAIGN — A Champaign man who allegedly masturbated in front of two adult women and a child in downtown Champaign has been acquitted of a sex crime by reason of insanity.
Judge Harry Clem on Wednesday found Kevin Malloch, 56, of the 600 block of West Healey Street, not guilty by reason of insanity of sexual exploitation of a child. Clem's finding came in a stipulated bench trial, during which the attorneys agree on the evidence and present it to the judge in the form of reports, precluding the need for witnesses to testify in person.
Assistant State's Attorney Duke Harris said he dismissed a misdemeanor public indecency charge and prosecuted Malloch for sexual exploitation of a child, a Class 4 felony, because he was masturbating on Dec. 22 in the 100 block of North Neil Street in the presence of a woman who exited a business with her 3-year-old daughter.
Harris said evidence was that Malloch had earlier been masturbating in the presence of a female reporter from WAND-TV who was working in the area. When she saw what he was doing and attempted to get away from him, he reportedly followed her around a corner and continued his inappropriate behavior in the presence of the other adult woman and her child.
Harris said police found Malloch in the area.
In arriving at his not guilty by reason of insanity verdict, Clem relied on the report of Champaign psychiatrist Lawrence Jeckel that Malloch was insane that day. Jeckel said Malloch has a history of mental illness.
Malloch will continue to receive care in a residential mental health setting at least until his July 9 review, when Clem will decide what kind of future treatment he should have.
In other cases recently resolved in Champaign County:
— Kooper Blackwelder, 21, who listed an address in the 900 block of West Columbia Avenue, Champaign, was sentenced Wednesday to four years of probation and ordered to perform 200 hours of public service for aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Blackwelder had pleaded guilty in April to performing a sex act at a home in Champaign with a girl who was 6 when it happened March 25, 2010.
Judge Harry Clem imposed the sentence on Blackwelder, who had no prior convictions.
Assistant State's Attorney Duke Harris had dismissed a second count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse alleging a separate act of sexual misconduct between Blackwelder and the same girl in return for his plea. Harris sought a five-year prison term for him while defense attorney Mark Lipton asked for probation.
Blackwelder will have to register as a sex offender.
— A burglary charge against Kaitlin Mettache, 19, of Lynwood, alleging she went in the Rantoul Walmart on Feb. 1 intending to steal has been dismissed.
However, two of three co-defendants were convicted of theft over $500.
Both Anthony Williams II, 20, of Savoy, and Quovante Walls, 19, of Savoy, were sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to make restitution of $5,372, after admitting they stole electronics from a display case at store.
Rantoul police said four people were seen going in and two men and a woman were seen prying open an Apple display case, grabbing several items, and running from the store.
A burglary charge against Ann McKinney, 18, of Lynwood, has not been resolved. She's due back in court June 5.