Metro-East News

He promoted sex with children as a religious rite. Now he’ll receive sex-offender treatment.

Jury finds James Lopes sexually dangerous

Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons talks about the James Lopes case and how a jury found him sexually dangerous.
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Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons talks about the James Lopes case and how a jury found him sexually dangerous.

A man classified as “sexually dangerous” has moved to an Illinois Department of Corrections facility designed especially for sex offenders.

A jury found James Lopes to be sexually dangerous in January, after less than an hour of deliberation. The conviction sent him to the IDOC, where he will receive treatment as a sex offender. He was transferred July 3 and will remain there indefinitely, according to a Madison County prosecutor news release.

Lopes unsettled some metro-east residents with a series of videos, shot in a Collinsville park, where he promoted sexual relations with children as a religious rite. He was charged with three counts of grooming in connection with cards police said he handed out, directing people to his videos.

He was also charged with several misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and trespass. Police say he approached young girls, said he was on a “mini-date” with one of them and asked a 7-year-old girl, “Hi, princess, are you looking for your prince? I’m right here.” In trial testimony, Lopes said if a child was wearing green, it meant they wanted to be introduced to sexuality.

Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Nolan said in her closing arguments at the trial to declare Lopes as sexually dangerous that he had a “pervasive obsession” with young girls. Lopes, however, denies that he is a pedophile.

Under state law, five factors are required to establish if someone is sexually dangerous. He or she must: possess a mental disorder; that disorder has existed for more than a year; the disorder makes him or her likely to commit sex offenses; that he or she has committed some acts; and that it is probable he or she will commit more sexual offenses if he or she is not incarcerated.

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