By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
A Quincy man was sentenced to probation Monday for aggravated battery of a child in a case in Adams County Circuit Court.
James W. Tittsworth, 29, was sentenced to 24 months probation and 90 days in the Adams County Jail by Judge William Mays. Tittsworth pleaded guilty May 8 to one count of aggravated battery of a child. The plea negotiation included a sentence to probation since this is Tittsworth's first felony conviction.
Assistant State's Attorney Anita Rodriguez said a sentence to probation was appropriate given Tittsworth's lack of prior felony record.
"Mr. Tittsworth has had prior (orders of protection) that showed some tendency toward violence," Rodriguez said. "He has taken it upon himself to engage in counseling."
Tittsworth was arrested Feb. 26 after Adams County Sheriff's Department deputies were called to a residence in the 6200 block of Hickory Grove North on Quincy's far east side, near the Interstate 172 interchange. Rodriguez said a woman who lived at the residence wanted to file a report about a child-abuse incident.
Rodriguez said the woman, Tittsworth's girlfriend, said she saw Tittsworth grab her 2-year-old daughter by her shoulders and forced her into a bed to try to make her take a nap. The next day, the woman noticed bruising on the child and called the Sheriff's Department, as well as the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Rodriguez said Tittsworth was interviewed by investigators with the Sheriff's Department and admitted to investigators that he had grabbed the girl under her arms and tried to get her to stay in bed. He told investigators he also noticed the bruises on the girl after the incident took place.
Tittsworth must register as a violent offender against youth as a result of his conviction.
"He realizes the seriousness of this and has taken the steps to make sure it doesn't happen again," said Public Defender Brett Jansen, who represented Tittsworth.
Mays stayed all but two days of Tittsworth's jail sentence, giving him credit for those two days he has already served. He said Tittsworth needed to continue his counseling efforts.
"You need to stay in counseling and not drink any alcohol," Mays told Tittsworth. "If you do those two things, I think you'll be OK."
Tittsworth did not address the incident. He answered several questions Mays had for him, but did not make a statement.
He has been free since posting $750 bond Feb. 27.