URBANA — A Round Lake man who battered several people on the University of Illinois campus two years ago has been sentenced to 30 months of probation and 100 hours of public service.
Matthew Korinek, 22, told Judge Roger Webber that he had changed significantly since that night in August 2019 when, while drunk, he punched several people without provocation at different locations around campus.
The attacks happened between about 11 p.m. Aug. 24 and 1:15 a.m. Aug. 25, when police found him passed out in an alley in the 900 block of South Fifth Street, Champaign.
In August, Korinek pleaded guilty to an aggravated-battery charge that had been filed against him in October 2019. He admitted that he punched and kicked a young man so hard outside a fraternity in the 900 block of South Locust Street that the man suffered two facial fractures that required surgery and the insertion of permanent metal plates.
In exchange for that plea, two other counts of aggravated battery and two counts of battery were dismissed.
Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Larson sought a three-year prison sentence for Korinek, who had previous convictions for driving under the influence and manufacture or delivery of cannabis.
And while his 2019 aggravated-battery case was pending in Champaign County, he was convicted of aggravated battery in 2020 in Lake County and was arrested again on DUI charges.
“He is clearly a danger,” Larson said, recounting for the judge that on that night in August 2019, Korinek attacked four men and a woman, all without provocation.
More than a dozen supporters of Korinek made the trip from Lake County to be present when Webber sentenced their relative and friend.
His attorney, Baku Patel of Urbana, argued for probation, calling Korinek a “different person” when he’s drinking. Patel said on that August 2019 night, Korinek was also using Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug that’s widely abused.
Since that time, Korinek has had “an extended period of sobriety,” Patel said, and is currently serving a sentence of probation and work release in Lake County for an aggravated battery that happened in Mundelein in July 2020.
He is let out of jail during the day to go to work or attend counseling but must wear a GPS monitoring device. He has another year to serve, Patel said.
“Don’t set him back now,” Patel urged Webber, saying that even Korinek’s probation officer in Lake County wrote a letter of support, one of 20 Patel gave the judge. “Let him have this proverbial rope and see what happens.”
Korinek apologized to the victims and said he is “very remorseful” and taking his Lake County sentence seriously.
“I hope you can understand. I really am changed now. I am deeply sorry to all my victims here and in Lake County,” Korinek said.
Webber called Korinek’s criminal history one of “outrageous violence” but urged him to follow through on his substance-abuse counseling. He also warned Korinek that if he violates his probation, he faces up to 10 years in prison in Champaign County that would have to be served after he finishes his Lake County sentence.