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Child murderer worried about his image
By Josh Stockinger | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 10/5/2009 12:07 AM

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Tony Dameron wants to make one thing clear: He's a murderer, not a sex offender.

Dameron, who is serving a life sentence for beating his 3-month-old daughter to death, filed a petition in Kane County Circuit Court this week asking a judge to take his name off the sex offender registry.

He says it's causing "irreparable damage" to his reputation.

Dameron was convicted in 1998 of murdering his daughter three years earlier in Aurora. Initially, he was sentenced to die but later agreed to life without parole in exchange for dropping appeals in the case.

In his latest filing, Dameron claims he was "unjustly" added to Illinois' sex offender registry and goes on to point out that he would be better suited for the state's list of child murderers and violent offenders against youths.

His name could not be found in either database Friday. Dameron says he has pointed out the error to the state's attorney's office, but no one would help him sort it out.

Court records suggest authorities at one time believed there was a sexual element to Dameron's case; he was charged with but not convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault of a child younger than 13.

State's Attorney John Barsanti could not immediately be reached Friday afternoon, but his office is unlikely to comment because it's technically a defendant in Dameron's complaint.

Dameron was convicted of first-degree murder after his infant daughter Rachel suffered 37 facial injuries, a fractured skull and severe brain damage in what he claimed was a tumble down the stairs. Her body was found Aug. 30, 1995, in a duffel bag hidden under dirty laundry in his apartment.

Dameron, now 38, is serving his sentence at Pontiac Correctional Center. The sex offender matter goes to Judge Michael J. Colwell on Jan. 19, 2010.

Lawyer lauded: A Chicago publisher is predicting good things for Geneva attorney Troy A. Groetken.

Groetken recently was named one of the "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch" by the Law Bulletin Publishing Co., which puts out Chicago Lawyer magazine and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

More than 700 lawyers were nominated this year for the designation, which honors attorneys who win cases with "intelligence, passion and a desire to help the community."

Groetken, a shareholder at McAndrews, Held & Malloy, is registered as both a patent attorney and clinical pharmacist in Iowa, Illinois and Michigan. He represents Fortune 500 clients in the pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnological industries, his firm said in a news release.

Heroes sought: Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez is looking for someone worthy of 2009's Roscoe Ebey Citizen of the Year Award, named after an Aurora resident whose murderer was confronted and held captive by a neighbor until police arrived.

This is the third year for the award, created after Ebey's death in May 2007 to honor "unsung heroes who keep the spirit of 'community' alive in our county.'"

To nominate someone, call (630) 208-2003. There's more information available at