Prosecutors want pedophile committed after release
The attorney general's office wants a man who was convicted of sexually assaulting and abusing six boys at Mooseheart in the 1990s committed to a state facility as a sexually violent person.
Chad E. Wahl, now 44 and formerly of Pekin, was scheduled to be released from prison Friday, but has been transferred to a state detention center until a hearing later this month in Kane County.
Wahl was arrested in March 1992, fired from his job, convicted and sentenced to 21 years in prison in early 1994.
At the time, prosecutors argued that Wahl, then 24, got a job as a "house parent" in October 1990 at the facility for troubled youths near Batavia, according to court records.
Wahl started a "reward program" to allow boys to sleep on a living room floor on Fridays and Saturdays and watch movies.
"Much of the abuse took place during those 'reward periods,' " prosecutors wrote in a 1994 sentencing memo, noting Wahl showered his victims with gifts and told them not to tell anyone because no one would believe them.
All the victims were younger than 13; the youngest was 9.
Under a 1998 state law, a person can be committed to the state's Department of Human Services after a prison term if the inmate has committed a sex crime, has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, and a jury decides it's "substantially probable" the person will commit another sex crime.
A licensed clinical psychologist, Melissa Weldon-Padera, interviewed Wahl Sept. 19 and concluded he is a pedophile who was likely to reoffend.
In court documents, Weldon-Padera noted that Wahl had refused sex offender treatment in prison, denied being sexually abused by his father when he had admitted it in previous investigations and in personal letters written from prison, and gave "correct" or "textbook" answers to make it appear he was a lower risk to reoffend.
"His parole plans are indicative of this (Machiavellian) trait in that he alludes to setting up a business to produce and distribute child pornography while never overtly stating these are his plans, thus giving him deniability," Weldon-Padera wrote.
If a Kane County judge rules Nov. 26 that there is "probable cause," Wahl will be detained until a jury trial is held.
Since the law went into effect, the attorney general's office has had more than 330 people committed to the Rushville, Ill., Treatment and Detention Facility until they are deemed fit to re-enter society.