By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
The Quincy man who barricaded himself in a room in his house and forced a long standoff with the Quincy Police Department last month had his preliminary hearing on a criminal sexual abuse charge continued Wednesday.
Donald Richard Pruett, 52, asked for a new judge to hear his case. Pruett's case had been assigned to Judge Scott Walden. It will now be referred to Chief Judge Richard Greenlief for reassignment.
Since he was last in court Feb. 27, Pruett has hired counsel and bonded out of jail. He posted $5,000 toward his $50,000 bond March 4. On March 11, Barney Bier replaced Public Defender Brett Jansen as Pruett's attorney.
Pruett's physical appearance in court Wednesday was different from when he was led out of his house after a 21-hour standoff at his residence at 1718 Center Granview on Feb. 19. Pruett was cleanshaven, and his hair appeared to be darker than it was when he was arrested.
He told Walden that he was now living with a family member in the 600 block of Country Club Heights. An order of protection was filed against Pruett by one of his neighbors Feb. 22. One of the conditions of Pruett's bond states that he is to have no contact with the girl whom he's accused of abusing and can't be within 1,000 feet of her.
Information filed by Adams County state's attorney's office claims that Pruett fondled the buttocks and other private areas of a girl under age 13 for his own sexual arousal Feb. 17. A second charge of battery 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.
Previously, Pruett was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse in 2002, but he was not prosecuted in that case.
The last month standoff started just after 2 p.m. on Feb. 18 after QPD investigators went to Pruett's house to interview him as part of the ongoing investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse of 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 throughout the ordeal and talked with a rotation of four negotiators from the Police Department. Police Chief Rob Copley said Pruett had shown some suicidal tendencies and a handgun was found when Pruett surrendered.