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Local

Probation ordered for gang member

WOODSTOCK – A reputed gang member was given intensive probation on an armed violence charge, though a McHenry County judge admitted that the sentence was ordered with "great reservation."

Jose A. Dominguez, 20, of Harvard, previously pleaded guilty to the felony in a blind plea, meaning there was no agreement between attorneys on a possible sentence. Mob action charges were dropped with his guilty plea.

McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather said Dominguez had one of "the worst past criminal histories the court has seen," though she noted that the felony for which he was sentenced on Wednesday was his only charge as an adult.

Dominguez was charged in January with using a baseball bat to strike a fellow gang member in the head.

Dominguez's attorney, Special Public Defender Henry Sugden, said Dominguez was a "wannabe" gang member, and that his association was merely for protection.

Assistant State's Attorney Robert Zalud said Dominguez had a pattern of violent behavior, though he couldn't go into detail about Dominguez's criminal past because juvenile court records are sealed. Zalud admonished the man, telling him that being a gang member was "synonymous with being a coward."

Zalud asked for a three-year prison term, the minimum with a Class 2 felony.

Before his sentence was handed down, Dominguez said that he was done with street gangs and pleaded with the judge to give him the chance to prove he was a good person.

Dominguez was given two years' intensive probation, which means that he must report to a probation officer, earn a GED, perform 200 hours of public service, and complete 120 days of electronic monitoring. He is prohibited from having any association with known gang members.

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