Algonquin Village Clerk Jerry Kautz likes nothing better than to turn into Klutzo the Clown and make a child smile.
To think another "Klutzo" used his clown identity to harm children makes Klautz sick to his stomach.
The unwarranted hate mail and calls make it more distressing still.
"I sat down and cried this morning," Kautz said. "It has been a nightmare."
A central Illinois man who also used the "Klutzo the Clown" persona was arrested on child pornography charges this week after illegally traveling to the Philippines to photograph himself having sex with naked young boys at a local orphanage, according to authorities.
Amon Paul Carlock, 57, of Springfield was arrested by federal agents working with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency and charged with possessing child pornography and traveling overseas to engage in sexual contact with a minor.
The subsequent news stories have sparked hate mail and calls to the wrong Klutzo. And, more distressing to Kautz, the reports have sparked fear that his Klutzo was the offender.
"What if someone sees this and thinks it was me? People have seen me at the Founders Days parades and other places for 23, 24 years. All they're going to think is 'Did he do something to my child?'"
"I'm so distraught. I just can't believe this is happening," Kautz said. "I'm going to give it up. Klutzo's dead. He's got to be dead. I loved that name, but this is horrible.
"To do this crime with children and pornography and sexual exploitation is unconscionable … . I'd love to get my hands on this guy."
Kautz said he just wants to make sure people know it's a different Klutzo. In addition to no longer being Klutzo, he's also taken down his Web site.
Algonquin Village President John Schmitt said he hates to see that happen.
"Jerry Kautz has been involved in this village for many, many years both as a village official and doing a lot of charity work," Schmitt said. "His work has been nothing but positive for adults and children, and it's a shame that someone in southern Illinois doing something like this could potentially do harm to Jerry.
"It's not right and it's not fair," Schmitt said. "Jerry is a very, very good person and does nothing but good for this community. And Jerry's Klutzo the Clown has been a real positive for this community. My grandson loves him and can't wait to go to the parade to see Klutzo the Clown."
Algonquin Police Chief Russell Laine said it's distressing for anyone to have to deal with such incorrect allegations, particularly Kautz, who has given so much to the community.
"I met Jerry when he was the spokesman at St. Margaret Mary when the members of the church were taken hostage back in 1985," Laine said. "Since then we have become not only professional colleagues but friends.
"You have a man who for years has led an incredible life of giving to the community and people can try to blame him for something as insidious as this -- how do you combat something like that?"
Without hesitation, the chief said the police will continue to invite Kautz to participate as Klutzo the Clown at the village's National Night Out celebration and "every chance we get."