Quincy man facing sex offense charges switches from bench trial to accepting 14-year prison sentence

Nelson and Aaron Washington

Aaron Washington, right, listens to judge Robert Adrian during a hearing Dec. 6 in Adams County Circuit Court. At left is Chief Public Defender Todd Nelson. | David Adam

QUINCY — A Quincy man indicted in October 2022 on multiple sex offense charges changed his mind again on Friday and accepted a plea agreement that will send him to prison for 14 years.

Aaron Washington, 47, appeared with Chief Public Defender Todd Nelson before Judge Robert Adrian in Adams County Circuit Court.

He was in court two days earlier for what was expected to be the entry of a negotiated plea that had been agreed to on Nov. 29. However, Nelson said Washington wanted to ask for a different attorney. Adrian denied the request, and Washington eventually asked for a bench trial that was scheduled for Dec. 14-15.

Washington on Friday pled guilty to one count of unlawful failure to register his vehicle as part of his duties as a sex offender, a Class 2 felony, and one count of criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony. A grand jury had found Washington committed an act of sexual penetration with a family member under the age of 18 in that he “made contact with the sex organ or anus.”

Washington agreed to serve three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the failure to register count and 11 years, served at 85 percent, on the criminal sexual assault count. 

As part of the plea negotiation, one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a family member under the age of 18 would have been dismissed, as well as three counts of failing to register as a sex offender (failing to register a phone number, an address and a Facebook account), one count of being a sex offender failing to register as residing within 500 feet of a school, one count of unlawful communication with a child and one count of unlawful providing service to a person under the age of 18.

Quincy Police began investigating Washington in September 2022 after receiving information about alleged illegal contact he had with a 13-year-old Quincy girl. Investigators learned Washington had multiple social media sites, vehicles and other items he had failed to report on his sex offender registration as required by law. Investigators also learned Washington was living at an address on North 12th Street within 500 feet of Iles Elementary, 3111 N. 12th. 

Several minor children were interviewed at the Advocacy Center for Children. Search warrants were executed on Washington’s electronic devices and social media.

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