WOODSTOCK – A McHenry County judge sentenced a former Crystal Lake youth baseball coach Thursday to time served for failing to register as a sex offender.
Marcus Sabo, 44, entered a blind guilty plea in December to one count of failure to register as a sex offender, a Class 3 felony. The felony is punishable by up to five years in prison or probation.
Sabo was required to register as a sex offender after he pleaded guilty in 2014 to 20 counts of possessing child pornography. He was charged after state police investigators found hundreds of images of child pornography downloaded over a number of years in his Crystal Lake home. Judge Sharon Prather sentenced him to two years in prison.
As part of his original sentence, he was required to report his address or report as a transient to area police. Prosecutors said that from Feb. 20, 2015, through March 24, 2015, Sabo did not have a “fixed address,” nor did he report to police.
As a result, Sabo was arrested on a warrant in September 2015 after he was found in February sleeping on a park bench in Veteran Acres Park in Crystal Lake, police have said. He was charged with a misdemeanor as a sexual predator in a public park and with two counts of felony failure to register as a sex offender.
Prather entered the conviction and closed the case. Sabo received credit for 86 days served in McHenry County Jail, and he will have to continue to register as a sex offender.
Sabo currently is residing at Wayside Cross Ministries, a faith-based residential treatment program in Aurora. Sabo’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Angelo Mourelatos, said that his client was in a dark place when he got out of prison but has come a long way and is “flourishing” at his new place of residence.
He argued that a conviction should be entered and his case should be closed without a sentence of probation or conditional discharge because he would no longer be able to live at Wayside, according to the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act.
Assistant State’s Attorney Randi Freese said Sabo did not abide by parole or the laws when he failed to register just days after being released from prison. Freese said the court can’t be assured he won’t continue to violate the law and recommended a sentence in the Department of Corrections.
Sabo, who spoke on his own behalf, said he believes he is in a completely different place, and he is looking forward to continuing to help others.
Prather said this case was an “unusual situation,” and she recognized that Sabo was doing well while living at Wayside. Prather said she did not want to impose a sentence that would remove him from his residence.
“To put the defendant on probation or conditional discharge is not in his best interest or that of the community,” Prather said.