Graff sentencing hearing postponed for two weeks because legal document wasn’t delivered

Schnack and Graff

Jonathan Graff, left, and Drew Schnack

QUINCY — Judge Roger Thomson continued a sentencing hearing for a youth basketball coach and athletic trainer scheduled for Wednesday morning in Adams County Circuit Court because a legal document dropped off at the Adams County Jail wasn’t delivered in a timely fashion.

Jonathan Graff, 31, appeared at the hearing with his attorney, Drew Schnack. He pled guilty on Aug. 31 to one count of criminal sexual abuse, a Class 4 felony punishable for between one and three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Graff also is eligible to receive up to 30 months of probation or conditional discharge, and he could be fined between $7,500 and $25,000. He also must undergo sex offender evaluation for sentencing. He must register as a sex offender for 10 years.

As part of the plea negotiations, a count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony punishable for between three and seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, was dismissed.

Schnack began Wednesday’s hearing by telling Thomson he had received a pre-sentence investigation report on Graff on the afternoon on Friday, Oct. 14. However, Graff informed him Wednesday morning he had not seen the report.

“I copied it myself, wrote ‘Legal Mail — Jonathan Graff’ on it, checked for staples and paper clips and took it over to the jail first thing Monday morning, because I wanted him to have it,” Schnack said. “His family called me yesterday and informed me they had been told that this matter was going to be continued because the sex evaluation had not been done. Obviously, it had been done, but that’s what they were told.

“It’s some place in the (Adams County) sheriff’s office, but I sure in the world don’t know where.”

Schnack told Thomson he has been “experiencing difficulty with this type of thing” as well as seeing his clients in the jail. He also said he spoke with members of the Adams County Public Defender’s office who are having the same problems.

“This is not a criticism of the bailiffs,” he said. “The bailiffs and court personnel do a wonderful job here. But whoever’s in that jail thinks it’s cute to play these types of games. This isn’t the first time this has happened with me and a client. So here we are.”

Assistant state’s attorney Laura Keck offered to push the hearing to Wednesday afternoon, but Schnack declined. He wanted Graff to read the pre-sentence investigation and the sex offender evaluation.

Thomson then set for sentencing hearing for Nov. 2.

After the hearing, Schnack expressed his frustration about the missing report and other difficulties in the jail.

“(The report) is probably sitting in a pile over there,” he said. “This is the second time it’s happened to me. They’re playing games with all the defense attorneys. We have to go through about four or five doors, and they have to buzz us through to get to see our clients. About a week ago, they wouldn’t let me out. I was probably there five or six minutes before they finally let me out. They do it because they can, and there’s nothing we can do about it. 

“I’m going to start making a record of it, because they’re too stupid to know that they want people out of there. Give (Graff) the damn PSI. Let (the inmates) see their lawyers, because it makes them think somebody cares. The worst thing about being in jail is nobody knows I’m here, and nobody’s doing anything about it.”

Adams County Sheriff Rich Wagner said he would investigate Schnack’s claims.

“Legal mail is given to (inmates) as quickly as possible. I’d say it’s normally within minutes, but usually it’s before the next watch,” he said. “This is news to me. I will check our logs and see what’s going on. We’ll see where the holdup is.

“Why didn’t Drew just didn’t go meet with his client and go over (the report) with him? That would be a no-brainer if you want to make sure your client’s getting all the correct information, rather than just dropping it off and saying, ‘Here you go.’”

Graff was arrested May 19. He was indicted July 2 by an Adams County grand jury, which determined Graff fondled the sex organ of a girl, who was at least 13 years old but under 17 years old, through her clothing on or about April 1 for the purpose of his sexual arousal or gratification.

Graff was an assistant coach on the girls basketball team at Quincy Notre Dame, a youth boys and girls basketball coach for a local AAU team and an employee of TAP (Total Athlete Performance). He remains in the Adams County Jail on $100,000 bond.

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