Posted: Mar. 28, 2014 9:51 am Updated: Apr. 11, 2014 10:14 am
By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
After working out a new plea agreement with the Adams County State’s Attorney’s Office, a Quincy man was sent to prison Thursday on a child sex charge.
Bobby J. Griggs, 45, was sentenced to two years in the Illinois Department of Corrections by Judge Scott Walden after Griggs pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child during a hearing in Adams County Circuit Court. Griggs had already pleaded guilty to the charge once before during an Oct. 23 hearing.
The previous plea negotiation would have sentenced Griggs to a period of probation. However, Walden said a sex offender evaluation suggested that community monitoring was not the best plan for Griggs. Walden also reminded the attorneys involved in the case that they would need to explain why he should accept a sentence to probation.
Instead, Griggs agreed to a new plea deal that saw him plead guilty to the charge and be sentenced immediately. Had he not agreed to the new plea agreement, the case would have been reassigned to a new judge and the legal process would have started over. With 228 days already served in the Adams County Jail on the case, Griggs won’t have to spend much time in the Department of Corrections. With day-for-day credit factored in, Griggs will spend just over 100 days in prison.
Griggs was arrested in connection with an April 30 incident at a residence on Quincy’s northwest side. Assistant State’s Attorney Jamie Friye said Griggs masturbated in front of a child while watching a pornographic film on a computer. Friye said the child was watching television in the same room as Griggs.
“This is the appropriate sentence in this case,” Friye said. “He needs to have some sex offender counseling in a controlled environment, which will be available to him in the Department of Corrections.”
Griggs has four previous felony convictions in Illinois. He was out on parole when he was arrested on his current charge. He was sentenced to four years in prison on two marijuana charges in 1990, and to two years on aggravated DUI and obstruction of justice charges in 2011. Friye said Griggs had been convicted of forcible sodomy in Missouri in 1993.
“You put (the child) in a very ugly spot,” Walden told Griggs. “A prison sentence is appropriate.”
Griggs, who chose not to speak during the hearing, will have to register as a sex offender.
Walden told Griggs to stay busy with work and “find other ways to entertain yourself” when he is released from prison.