Plea negotiations continue for Camp Point woman facing sexual abuse charges

Janelle Sparrow

Janelle Sparrow | Photo courtesy of Adams County Jail

QUINCY — The case against a Camp Point woman facing sexual abuse charges was continued Tuesday morning as plea negotiations continue.

Janelle M. Sparrow, 36, appeared in Adams County Circuit Court with her attorney, Don Heck, before Judge Amy Lannerd. 

The Adams County Sheriff’s Department received a child abuse hotline report from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on Feb. 14. An investigation was initiated, with assistance from DCFS and the Advocacy Network for Children. After numerous interviews were conducted, Sparrow was arrested Feb. 17. She is free after posting 10 percent of a $7,500 bond on Feb. 23.

Sparrow was arraigned June 7 and pled not guilty on July 5. The case had been set for a jury trial to begin Oct. 11, but it was removed from the October docket on Sept. 26.

Heck asked Lannerd Tuesday for a continuance, and assistant state’s attorney Josh Jones didn’t object.

“My understanding is that they’re very close to negotiations, but (assistant state’s attorney Laura) Keck and I are preparing for a jury trial next week,” Jones said. 

Heck also pointed out to Lannerd that Sparrow is not a U.S. citizen. She is from Canada and could potentially face deportation.

“She was talking to another lawyer about that the other day,” Heck said.

Lannerd set Nov. 29 for a status update on the plea negotiations.

Sparrow faces one count of criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony, and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, both Class 1 felonies. If she is found guilty, the sentencing range for all three charges is between four and 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Charging documents filed in Adams County allege Sparrow committed an act of sexual penetration and touched the penis of a male, for whom she was his legal guardian, at least 13 years of age but under 18 years of age. 

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