Madison County State's Attorney Thomas Gibbons is disappointed with an assistant from his office following a lenient sentence for a repeat sex offender.
Madison County Assistant State's Attorney Amy Maher negotiated the plea bargain with Michael E. Cox, 45, of East Alton.
He pleaded guilty to public indecency, a misdemeanor, and received a sentence of 12 months probation and a $1,000 fine last week. The public indecency occurred on June 28.
Gibbons released the following statement: "Upon hearing about the disposition, I was extremely upset and disappointed. In my opinion, the agreement entered into by the assistant for our office represents a failure to recognize the seriousness of the offense and danger that this individual represents to the community, especially in light of his extensive criminal record. Unfortunately, this plea cannot be reversed, but the matter will be handled internally."
Maher said she couldn't comment on the matter.
Gibbons is a Democrat. Maher is the secretary of the Madison County Republican Party, and supported Gibbons' opponent in the election earlier this month.
Cox has an extensive history of sexual offenses dating back to 2005, according to Madison County court records.
In June 2005, he was convicted of public indecency/lewd exposure, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to 20 days in jail. Then in February 2006, he was convicted of exploitation of a child, a felony, and was sentenced to two years in prison.
In April 2008, Cox was also convicted of being present in a school zone as a child sex offender, a class 4 felony, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or email@example.com.