Man gets probation for guilty plea
URBANA — A Greenup man who admitted he lied to police about being around small children in east Urbana last spring has been sentenced to two years of probation.
In return for Bennie Hays' guilty plea to misdemeanor resisting or obstructing a peace officer, a felony charge of child abduction alleging he tried to lure children into his pickup truck was dismissed.
Hays pleaded guilty Monday before Champaign County Judge Harry Clem.
Assistant State's Attorney Duke Harris said no child victims were ever found who could confirm the allegation that Hays, 73, was trying to get children into his truck in the 1300 block of Silver Street on May 19.
On that day, an adult woman saw him holding a puppy out a window of his pickup truck and children gathered around. Harris said the woman yelled at him to leave, which he did. By the time police found Hays, there were no children around and police were unable to locate any who could have said what Hays said to them.
Harris said the adult woman was not close enough to hear the conversation and even if she had been, he may not have been able to use that testimony against Hays because it would have been hearsay.
Harris said as a condition of Hays' probation for obstructing a peace officer, he was ordered to have no contact with anyone under the age of 17, and he had to submit to a sex offender evaluation and follow any recommendations that might be made for treatment.
Hays was also sentenced to time served in the county jail — 157 days.