Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has announced that an Ogle County judge has ruled a registered sex offender from Rochelle as a Sexually Violent Person following a jury trial.
Following the jury’s decision, Ogle County Circuit Court Judge Robert T. Hanson ruled that 54-year old David Wendel of Rochelle must remain in the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services for treatment. Wendel was returned to the treatment and detention facility in downstate Rushville.
“This sex offender has a lifelong history of sexually assaulting and abusing children once released from prison,” Madigan said. “I commend the jury on their verdict that will ensure this dangerous sex offender does not reenter the community.”
In 2002, Wendel, then 38, was convicted of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and sentenced to 24 concurrent years in prison for sexually assaulting his 14-year-old niece.
In addition, Wendel was convicted in 1991 of criminal sexual assault and sentenced to eight years in prison after assaulting a 4-year-old girl in his wife’s care. Earlier, in 1984, he was sentenced to three years of probation and 18 months of periodic imprisonment with sex offender counseling after being convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for assaulting his 2-year-old niece.
Under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, Madigan’s office prosecutes cases seeking to commit offenders to the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services. To be committed under the Act, a person must have been convicted of a sexually violent offense and suffer from a mental disorder. Prosecutors must also prove that the offender is likely to commit future acts of sexual violence if released from custody.
Once committed to the Department of Human Services, offenders are re-evaluated on a regular basis to determine if they continue to meet the criteria for commitment as a sexually violent person.