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Parents of mass murderer face sexual assault charges

The parents of an Illinois man who is serving multiple life sentences for a week-long killing spree in 2008 have been charged in connection with the alleged predatory sexual assault of a child. Police have released only scant details of the investigation because a minor is involved. The couple, who are both 62 years of age, were taken into custody on Nov. 14 when the Rock Falls Police Department executed warrants that had been issued in Whiteside County.

The man is charged with a raft of sex offenses including multiple counts of predatory sexual assault of a child and attempted sexual assault. All of the charges against him are felonies, and he could be sentenced to up to 143 years in prison if he is convicted on all counts. He is being kept without bond at the Whiteside County Jail. The woman has been charged with a single count of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly failing to report her husband's behavior to the authorities. She was let out of custody after posting bond, according to media reports. Initial media reports do not reveal when the couple are scheduled to appear in court again.

The couple's son was convicted in both Illinois and Missouri for killing eight people in June 2008. He was convicted by two juries in Illinois for six of the murders. However, he chose to avoid a jury trial in Missouri by pleading guilty to the murder of a married couple outside a Festus, Mo., hotel. In return for his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty.

An experienced criminal defense attorney may advise their client to consider entering into a negotiated plea agreement if they are charged with offenses that could inflame a jury. Prosecutors are under particularly heavy pressure to secure convictions in such cases, and they could be willing to make significant sentencing concessions in return for a guilty plea and a successful outcome.

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