Jury: Belleville man sexually assaulted 12-year-old relative

News-DemocratMarch 6, 2014 

A Belleville man was found guilty of one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse Thursday in the assault on a 12-year-old female relative.

Michael Foxworth Jr., 63, of 660 N. 38th St., was acquitted on a second count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and acquitted on one count of predatory criminal sexual assault. The jury was hung on a second count of predatory criminal sexual assault.

St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said he was satisfied to get a guilty verdict on one of the charges.

"The jury spent a lot of time deliberating so we respect their decision and we are pleased with the conviction," Kelly said.

Predatory criminal sexual assault is a Class X felony that carries a sentence of 6 to 30 years. Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 felony and carries a sentence of 3 to 14 years.

On Jan. 17, 2013, Belleville Police were called to a hospital, where a girl told police that sexual abuse had occured over the previous several months.

Foxworth is scheduled to be sentenced April 14. Kelly said he will meet with the victim and her family before he decides whether to retry the charge on which the jury was hung.

"This was very draining for them," Kelly said. "Regardless, the defendant is now a convicted sex offender."

Kelly credited the victim with having the courage to take the stand to help the prosecution get a conviction.

"The young victim in this case was very brave in taking the stand and she is the reason we fight to convict perpetrators of these damaging and devastating crimes against children."

Circuit Judge John Baricevic presided over the case.

Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at swuerz@bnd.com or call 239-2626.