Sexual abuse charge filed against Quincy standoff subject

Donald R. Pruett
Posted: Feb. 20, 2013 12:44 pm Updated: Mar. 6, 2013 1:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

A Quincy man who barricaded himself in a room in his house for nearly 21 hours earlier this week was charged Wednesday morning in connection with an investigation into potential criminal sexual abuse.

Donald R. Pruett, 52, was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony, and battery, a Class A misdemeanor. Both were the result of an investigation by the Quincy Police Department.

It was the arrival of police officers to his residence on the city's central south side that prompted Pruett to barricade himself in a room and begin a nearly 21-hour standoff with police.

Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard said other charges could be levied against Pruett as a result of the standoff. Barnard said he is waiting for police reports on that incident.

Information filed by Barnard's office claims Pruett fondled the buttocks and the vagina of a girl under the age of 13 for his own sexual arousal on Feb. 17. The battery charge stems from Pruett allegedly making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the girl by pushing her onto a bed.

Pruett could be sentenced to between three and seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections if convicted of the aggravated criminal sexual assault charge.

Pruett was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse in 2002, but was not prosecuted in that case.

Pruett sported the same unkept look Wednesday morning that he had when officers led him out of his house at 1718 Center Granview 24 hours earlier. He was wearing a red-and-white striped jumpsuit and his hair was disheveled.

He was coherent and able to communicate without any problem with Judge Frank McCartney. He requested a public defender, and Brett Jansen was assigned to the case.

The standoff started just after 2 p.m. Monday after investigators went to Pruett's house to interview him as part of an ongoing investigation involving an allegation of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving a minor child. When the officers arrived, Pruett let them into the house, then went into a back bedroom and barricaded the door.

Pruett stayed in the room for nearly 21 hours before finally surrendering, talking with a rotation of four negotiators from the Quincy Police Department. Police Chief Rob Copley on Tuesday morning said Pruett had shown some suicidal tendencies, and a handgun was found when Pruett surrendered.

After surrendering, Pruett was taken to Blessing Hospital for a mental evaluation and was booked into the Adams County Jail. Pruett was placed in the jail's lockdown section and has been placed under a suicide watch.

His bail was set at $50,000. Should Pruett post bail, he was ordered to have no contact with the victim and can't be within 1,000 feet of her. His next court appearance is Feb. 27.