Friday, November 04, 2005


Gibson City minister gets 4 years for rape

PAXTON, Illinois -- A Gibson City minister was sentenced Tuesday to spend the next four years in prison on a criminal sexual assault conviction.
Judge Stephen Pacey also sentenced Danny O. Hill, 54, of 614 S. Lott Blvd., to two years of probation.

Hill could have received up to 15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine, but both Ford County State's Attorney Tony Lee and defense attorney John Gadau recommended the minimum four-year sentence.

Lee said he sought the minimum sentence because of Hill's lack of a criminal record, his work as a Baptist minister and his work in other fields.

Hill could be released after two years if he earns day-for-day credit for good behavior.

Pacey also ordered Hill to pay $2,640 for counseling his victim received, court costs, a $25 Crime Stoppers fee and probation fees of $30 a month.

Hill was convicted in an August jury trial of two counts of criminal sexual assault.

His victim said he sexually assaulted her numerous times over a six-year period, starting when she was a young teenager.

She said one of the assaults occurred when she was sedated while recovering from injuries suffered in a traffic wreck.

Jurors heard tapes recorded by police of Hill admitting he had assaulted the victim.

Defense attorney Reino Lanto requested an appeal bond, which would allow Hill to remain free until the appellate court hears his case. Lanto also asked that Hill be allowed to postpone serving his sentence for two weeks if the appeal bond motion was denied.

Lee opposed both requests.

Pacey told Lanto to put the appeal bond request in writing.

Lanto said Hill is arranging for a "revamped residence" for his wife because they are selling their house. He said Hill needs time to work on the house.

See also, the never-ending chronicle of church-related crime.

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