The State Supreme Court has tossed out a child sex abuse conviction against a McLean County man, even though justices said prosecutors proved molestation did happen. Terry Lloyd had been sentenced to 44 years in prison for Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse of a 13 year old girl after a trial in 2009. The court ruled prosecutors did prove that Lloyd had sexual contact with the girl on multiple occasions and even told the victim not to tell anyone or he could get 45 to life. But the State's Attorney's office charged Lloyd under provisions of the criminal code that required the state to prove that the girl was unable to understand the nature of the acts or give knowing consent. During appeals prosecutors argued a minor cannot legally consent and so the conviction should stand. Justices said that section of the law used is usually applied when victims are drunk, drugged, or developmentally disabled. The court said prosecutors could easily have added a charge, but that the information on the one actually brought was "fatally weak" and the state failed to prove the girl could not understand what was going on. Justices stressed it is important for lawyers to carefully consider how to charge a defendant. Current McLean County State's Attorney Jason Chambers says he will review the opinion and decide how or whether to proceed. Chambers would not now be able to add a charge, but might be able to re-try the existing case.
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