WOODSTOCK – A 57-year-old Algonquin man facing child sex assault charges chose to risk a natural life sentence in prison at trial rather than accepting either of the plea deals prosecutors offered Thursday.
Richard Lampp, of the 100 block of Brook Street, appeared in court Thursday morning with Assistant Public Defender Grant Tucker. Lampp was expected to make a decision on a negotiated plea that was offered to him earlier this month, after prosecutors threatened to press new child pornography charges based on recently discovered evidence.
Lampp is charged in two separate cases with predatory criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, sexual exploitation of a child, predatory criminal sexual abuse and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
A conviction in both cases would mean natural life in prison.
Tucker met privately Thursday with McHenry County Judge James Cowlin and McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein before Lampp made a decision.
Attorneys returned at 1:30 p.m. to hear his decision, which was to decline the initial plea deal and move forward with a trial against Tucker’s recommendation.
Cowlin asked whether Lampp understood that not accepting the plea meant potentially spending life in prison if he were convicted. Lampp said he understood.
“It’s likely the state is going to revoke its offer and not revive it,” Cowlin said.
With relatives of one of the three girls Lampp is accused of abusing in the gallery, prosecutors again met briefly with Tucker before offering Lampp another negotiated plea, which he also declined.
Tucker and Eisenstein previously had declined to comment on the terms of the original negotiated plea. Neither could be reached for comment about Thursday’s hearing, and terms of the deal were not discussed in open court.
The victim’s relatives attended Thursday’s court hearing because they were told Lampp likely would take the deal, the family members said.
Lampp previously worked as a manager at Colonial Cafe in Crystal Lake, a restaurant employee confirmed Thursday.
He is accused of inappropriately touching a girl younger than 17 between January and December 2014, according to a complaint filed in McHenry County court.
Charges in another case allege that Lampp assaulted a girl younger than 13 in July 2016.
At least one of the girls was someone Lampp knew, according to the complaint.
He was arrested Aug. 26, 2016, and additional charges were filed against him in a separate case Sept. 8 of that year.
Trials set for earlier this month in both cases were delayed when prosecutors learned about five pornographic pictures of children believed to have been found on Lampp’s electronic devices. One of the photos is believed to include a child who Lampp is accused of abusing.
At the time, the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office said it anticipated filing more charges.
Lampp could get new trial dates Jan. 26.