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Former cop pleads guilty in bar brawl

WOODSTOCK – A former Richmond police officer accused of kicking a handcuffed man in the face never will carry a badge again.

Brian Quilici, 38, pleaded guilty to attempted official misconduct and attempted assault, both misdemeanors, Friday. The plea deal brings an end to five years of criminal and civil litigation.

Initially, a McHenry County jury convicted Quilici of mob ac­tion, official misconduct and obstructing justice in the February 2005 beating of Ryan Hallett outside a Fox Lake bar. But an Illinois appeals court overturned the felony convictions because of a judge’s error.

Prosecutors appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court. When the high court declined to hear the case, prosecutors said they would seek a felony conviction at a new trial. On Friday, they settled for guilty pleas to the misdemeanor charges.

Prosecutors took into consideration several factors, including that the victim already had been through several trials, McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Ryan Blackney said.

Furthermore, Hallett had won a $450,000 verdict in a civil lawsuit. As for Quilici, he already had served a two-year prison sentence and the misdemeanor convictions would keep him out of law enforcement.

“This would prevent him from ever becoming a police officer again,” Blackney said. “We believe it was a just resolution.”

Hallett was told about the plea and agreed with the disposition, he added.

Quilici, who already served his sentence, won’t serve any additional jail time, his attorney Vincent Solano said.

“He’s not happy about [what happened], but this was the best alternative to let him get on with his life,” Solano said.

The appellate court tossed Quilici’s first conviction largely because McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather told jurors that Quilici, as an off-duty police officer, didn’t have any arrest authority beyond making a citizen’s arrest. The appellate court found Quilici did have full arrest powers because the incident happened in the county in which Quilici worked.

In a separate case, felony convictions against two other former police officers involved in Hallett’s beating were overturned. Ronald Pilati and Jerome Volstad later accepted plea bargains for misdemeanor attempted unlawful restraint. The misdemeanor convictions do not prevent them from serving again as police officers.

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