Crime & Courts

Defendant turns down deal, will stand trial on child sex assault charges

Richard J. Janusz, 50, of Sycamore

SYCAMORE – A Sycamore man turned down a plea deal that probably would have resulted in him dying behind bars, and will proceed to trial on child sex assault charges.

Richard J. Janusz, 50, of the 500 block of Nathan Lattin Lane in Sycamore, has been in jail on $5 million bond since July 31, 2014, when he was charged with 26 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a girl younger than 13, and four counts of photographing child pornography, court records show.

If convicted, Janusz could face up to 900 years in prison.

Assistant State’s Attorney Alicia Caplan told Judge Philip Montgomery that leading up to a Thursday afternoon trial setting, Janusz turned down an offer of 50 years in prison.

The alleged incidents happened between January 2010 and July 30, 2014, and the trial is set to begin Tuesday. It’s one of the oldest sex assault cases in the county, Caplan has said.

One final motion awaits a ruling: whether to allow the victim to testify via closed-circuit video. Once Montgomery rules on that motion, and jury selection will begin. The trial is expected to last four days, wrapping up with a verdict Friday.

Caplan told Montgomery she has “a lot of video and audio” that will be played during the trial. She told Montgomery the offer of 50 years constituted a sentence of less than the minimum sentence, should Janusz be convicted on all 26 counts.