Listen to this article

URBANA — A Rantoul man who admitted he violated his probation for a sex crime and burglary has been resentenced to three years in prison.

Judge Tom Difanis Friday said Tyheam McWilliams, 22, had plenty of opportunities to get help as a sex offender but rejected those by failing to show up at appointments for probation and counseling.

McWilliams, whose last known address was on St. Andrews Circle, admitted in August that he violated the sentence he received in January of 30 months of probation after pleading guilty to criminal sexual abuse and burglary.

In the sex case, he admitted that on Sept. 14, 2018, he assaulted a woman headed to her car on St. Andrews Circle. When she rebuffed comments he made about her being attractive and got in her car, he reached in and grabbed her crotch. It wasn’t until the woman produced a hammer that McWilliams backed off.

He had also pleaded guilty to burglary, reduced from a residential burglary, for a May 23, 2018, unlawful entry to a home on Par Drive. Another residential burglary charge alleging a break-in by McWilliams at another Rantoul home was dismissed.

McWilliams, who had no criminal record, elected to have Difanis sentence him back in January. At the time, Assistant State’s Attorney Troy Lozar sought a prison term while Assistant Public Defender Ben Dyer asked the judge to consider his young client for a community-based sentence, citing his ongoing medical issues and absentee parents.

Difanis said he was willing to give McWilliams probation but ordered him to engage in mental health counseling.

The two attorneys took the same positions Friday, with Lozar saying he was “very concerned” about McWilliams being unable to control himself or follow rules.

He noted that McWilliams’ probation officer, Jeremy Jessup, had tracked down McWilliams playing basketball on campus and warned him of the serious consequences of not reporting or showing up for group therapy.

Dyer called his client’s situation “confusing and sad,” noting there were times in his life he “has really had his act together.”

McWilliams apologized to the judge and said he would take the court’s orders seriously, but Difanis said McWilliams had “made a mockery out of probation” despite Jessup’s efforts to help him. He resentenced him to three years for burglary and two years for criminal sexual abuse, to be served concurrently.



Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).