Jobs Homes Autos For Sale










Sex offender evaluation ordered for Wauconda school official
By Madhu Krishnamurthy | Daily Herald Staff

Nicholas Batson

 

 1 of 1 
 
print story
email story
Published: 10/3/2008 12:26 PM | Updated: 10/3/2008 4:12 PM

Send To:

E-mail:
To:

From:

Name:
E-mail:

Comments:

A Wauconda school board member on probation for misdemeanor domestic battery must undergo sex offender and mental health evaluations to avoid going to jail.

Nicholas Batson, 46, faced six months in jail after prosecutors moved to revoke his probation because he violated a judge's order to have no contact with the victim and her family. Batson attended an Aug. 30 party where the 14-year-old victim and her father were present, and while there is no evidence of contact, the girl's father took pictures of Batson at the party.

Batson originally was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse for allegedly molesting the female relative in his home Dec. 5. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of domestic battery in July because there was no DNA or other physical evidence supporting the original charge, prosecutors said.

Batson agreed Friday to undergo the evaluations in exchange for prosecutors backing off efforts to revoke his probation.

"What this is going to do is get him treatment," Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Ken LaRue said. "For us, that is paramount."

LaRue said the sex offender evaluation, recommended by Batson's probation officer, is a rigorous process that the defense originally opposed.

Neither Batson nor his attorney could be reached for comment Friday.

Batson initially faced up to seven years in prison for the aggravated criminal sexual abuse charge.

LaRue said his office consulted with the victim's parents before entering into the deal Friday, and they supported it. The victim's parents were present in the courtroom.

"The follow on evaluations, I think that speaks for itself," the victim's father said later.

Batson remains on probation and is still required to avoid the victim, her family and their home.

Friday's court order does not mean Batson automatically becomes a registered sex offender regardless of the result of the evaluations. Therefore, he cannot be removed from the Wauconda Unit District 118 school board seat he was elected to in 2005.

District parents and some school board members have asked Batson to resign through an online petition and at school board meetings. He has refused.

Superintendent Dan Coles said he forwarded this new information on Batson to the Lake County Regional Superintendent of Schools for review.

With each new development in the case, school board vice president Deby Dato said, the district's name is dragged through the mud. It's also hurting Batson's attendance at board meetings and keeping him from performing his duties as an elected official, she added.

"Nick has been a great board member, but this continues to prove that he's got some issues to deal with," Dato said. "And this negative publicity that keeps coming to the board ... it's just not fair to the taxpayers, the students, the parents, and the rest of the board members. I will hold my stance that it is time for him to resign. They (constituents) have to trust us. That's a big part of our job."