Ex-Arsenal youth director given 10 years for each of 3 counts of sexual assault

CAMBRIDGE, Ill. — A former director of the Rock Island Arsenal Youth Center was sentenced in Henry County Circuit Court on Tuesday to 10 years in prison on each of three counts, to be served consecutively, for sex-related offences.

Joseph G. West, 32, of Alpha was found guilty of three counts of criminal sexual assault/victim under 18 at a trial before Judge Terry Patton on August 30. The crimes occurred between January 1, 2019 and March 3, 2022.

Joseph West, 32, was convicted in August of three counts of child molestation. He previously ran the Rock Island Arsenal youth center.

West will also have to serve at least 85% of his 10-year terms on each of the counts. Upon his release, he will also serve a mandatory three-year supervised release to life and will be required to register as a sex offender. A minimum fine of $75 on each count plus statutory dues will be cleared by a credit of $5 per day for the 214 days served in jail to date. He was also ordered to provide DNA samples and testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.

People also read…

The sentence for Class 1 crimes could have been up to 15 years in prison, but Judge Patton said the maximum sentence was reserved for people with long criminal records who had proven themselves beyond rehabilitation. West had no criminal record.

The judge said the fact that West worked and was an active member of society for a time was a mitigating factor.

West’s father testified on his son’s behalf, saying Joseph West himself was sexually abused as a child and living in Germany when his father served in the military in Bosnia.

“I find it very hard to believe that he is assaulting anyone else,” the father said.

The judge, however, said it wouldn’t surprise him if it was actually part of why the crimes happened. He suggested that West could get advice “and get to the heart of things” while at the Department of Corrections. He also said he was “very, very concerned” about West’s obsession with his victim in this case. “It was just overkill,” he said.

West maintained his innocence, a fact that the judge said cannot be held against him.

Public defender Lance Camp said he was filing a motion for the judge to reconsider the sentence. A hearing on the motion has been set for November 14.

Seeking 10 years on each count, Henry County State’s Attorney Catherine Runty also commented on West’s obsession with his victim, saying “this kind of manipulation and control, this kind gaslighting and brainwashing is something that I think we don’t see very often.”

Runty said law enforcement was first notified of a potential situation in October 2021, but the arrest did not occur until March 2022.

“There was nothing we could charge for,” she recalls. “I’m not sure there’s a worse feeling for law enforcement than sitting with your hands tied.”

Judge Patton spoke of people torn apart by such crimes.

“Kids…have to talk to weird adult after weird adult after weird adult, talking about things no one wants to discuss.”

About Edward Fries

Check Also


ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, USA, Nov. 14, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Healthy relationships, making responsible choices and …