Charge of having sex with horse dropped as Quincy man gets 24 months probation in plea deal

Jack Blanke copy

Jack Blanke

QUINCY — A Quincy man agreed to a sentence of 24 months of probation Thursday after pleading guilty to a Class 4 felony of criminal damage to property.

Jack R. Blanke, 39, appeared in Adams County Circuit Court wearing a stained neon hoodie and camo shorts alongside Public Defender Christopher Pratt on Thursday in front of Judge Robert Adrian.

Blanke was arrested on April 28 for having sex with a horse. He allegedly was caught mid-coitus by Adams County Sheriff’s Department deputies and charged with unlawful sexual contact with an animal, a Class 4 felony punishable for between 1 and 3 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, and criminal trespassing, a Class B misdemeanor.

Blanke pled guilty of criminal damage to property as part of a plea deal. The charges for unlawful sexual contact with an animal and criminal trespassing were dropped as part of the agreement.

While reading Blanke his rights, Adrian asked if waving his right to the jury trial was what he wanted. Blanke replied while smiling, “Sure is.”

Adrian also asked if Blanke was satisfied with Pratt’s representation in this case. Blanke answered, “Is a five-star rating acceptable?”

Before Thursday’s hearing, Blanke spoke with Muddy River News outside the courtroom. He said he was “pleading guilty to property damage, which is not what I was arrested for. It’s a big difference, if you think about it.”

As part of the probation sentence, Blanke will still be required to have a mental health evaluation. The records from that evaluation will determine his treatment. His probation will also include 90 days in the county jail, with credit for the six days served. Pratt added Blanke is aware of a condition of the probation that prevents him to be on Deer Ridge Road.

Assistant State’s Attorney Todd Eyler discussed the plea negotiation after Thursday’s hearing.

“It was made as an attempt, in light of the sensitive nature, an attempt to not further embarrass him (Blanke),” Eyler said. “I understand. But at the same time, I think arguably that it minimizes the acceptance or responsibility for the act.”

Had Blanke pled guilty to the charge of unlawful sexual conduct with an animal, Eyler said he would have received the same 24-month probation sentence because he was a first-time offender with no criminal history.

“In terms of what he is going to have to do or be ordered to do on his sentence of probation, nothing has really changed,” Eyler said. “At the end of the day, it is not lighter because he pled to this.”

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