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updated: 4/28/2016 5:12 PM

Former Mooseheart pedophile fighting state's move to commit him

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  • Chad E. Wahl

    Chad E. Wahl

 
 

A man who spent 20 years in prison for molesting boys in the 1990s at Mooseheart School near Batavia is fighting efforts to have him committed indefinitely under the state's Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.

Chad E. Wahl, 46, formerly of Pekin, was arrested in March 1992, convicted in early 1994 and sentenced to 21 years in prison for sexually assaulting and abusing six boys at the school.

Wahl worked as a "house parent" at the school and started a "reward program" to allow boys to sleep on the living room floor on weekends to watch movies, prosecutors argued. Most of the abuse took place during the reward periods, and he would shower his victims with gifts, ordering them not to tell anyone. The victims were between 9 and 13 years old.

Wahl was released from prison in November 2013, but ordered held by the state's Department of Human Services shortly after that as prosecutors at the Illinois attorney general's office sought to have him committed indefinitely.

Under the 1998 law, a person can be committed to the state's Department of Humans Services for treatment until no longer deemed a danger to society if the person was: convicted of a sex crime; has been diagnosed with a mental disorder; and a jury concludes it is "substantially probable" the person will reoffend.

Wahl's defense attorney argues the state's case is insufficient and wants it dismissed, despite two licensed clinical psychologists who concluded Wahl was a pedophile and a danger to reoffend.

"(The state's petition) does not allege how these congenital or acquired conditions effect the respondent's 'volitional or emotional capacity' as (case law) requires. Failure to plead those facts renders the complaint deficient," Wahl's defense attorney argued in court documents.

Prosecutors contend Wahl not only refused treatment while in prison, but planned to set up a business to produce and distribute child pornography after his prison release.

Wahl's case was in Kane County court this week and continued to June 22. It was not immediately clear when attorneys argue for or against having the case dismissed.