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Algonquin man gets 24 years in sex case

WOODSTOCK – A former Algonquin man was sentenced Thursday to 24 years in prison for several sex offenses involving a then-12-year-old girl.

A jury in July found Raymond M. Kasper, 49, guilty on six of seven charges against him: three of four counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and three counts of criminal sexual abuse.

The girl told her school guidance counselor and police that Kasper touched her in a sexual manner on several occasions last year. But after the girl met with her mother, Kasper’s attorney and Kasper’s sister, she recanted her story and said it all had been a dream.

Kasper addressed McHenry County Judge Joseph Condon at his sentencing, saying he has never touched any children inappropriately.

“I stand before you, regardless of the jury’s verdict, as innocent,” Kasper said, adding that he has been in jail for 137 days for a crime he did not commit. The allegations were made by a girl who became angry after she was disciplined, having her cellphone and Nintendo DS taken away, he said.

When the girl realized the severity of her accusations and tried to “fix it,” she was called a liar, Kasper said.

Defense attorney Catharine O’Daniel emphasized Kasper’s unblemished criminal record and highlighted his work history, including working as a bus driver and also a firefighter – a job he took after his wife and child were killed in a car crash.

Assistant State’s Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein said Kasper’s true colors came out at trial when he took the stand and was “aggressive.”

“He thinks that he’s the victim,” Eisenstein said. “He doesn’t care about her. All he cares about is himself.”

Kasper is the nephew of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, although jurors were barred from hearing that. Condon ruled that it was irrelevant.

Without saying Gacy’s name, Kasper said jurors likely knew about the familial relationship through media reports.

“I’m not responsible for someone else’s crimes,” he said.

Kasper is not related to the girl, but saw her as family, which Condon noted in handing down his sentence.

“I regard her as your victim,” Condon said.

Ahead of the sentencing, O’Daniel argued at length about issues at trial, criticizing Kasper’s previous attorney. She also said that highly prejudicial facts were introduced that shouldn’t have been allowed, such as attacks on parenting by the girl’s mother.

With credit for time served, Kasper likely will serve about 18 years.

O’Daniel said she was filing documents for an appeal immediately. Kasper also has retained a private investigator to look into the case.

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