Quincy man to receive probation for guilty plea to electronic harassment, but won’t have to register as sex offender

Raad agrees to plea

Giorgio Raad, seated, looks at attorney Drew Schnack during a status hearing Tuesday morning in Adams County Circuit Court. In the background are Todd Eyler, first assistant state's attorney in Adams County, left, and bailiff Donnie Hammer. | David Adam

QUINCY — A Quincy man is expected to be sentenced to probation after agreeing to accept a plea.

Giorgio Raad, 19, appeared Tuesday morning with attorney Drew Schnack in Adams County Circuit Court before Judge Tad Brenner. Raad was arrested and charged in November with one count of grooming, a Class 4 felony, and one count of sexual exploitation of a child, a Class A misdemeanor.

Raad’s case was on the April jury docket, but he waived his right to a jury trial during Tuesday’s hearing.

Schnack told Brenner that Raad has agreed to plead guilty to an amended charge of electronic harassment, a Class 4 felony. Raad is eligible to be sentenced to between one and three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, but Schnack said the agreement calls for him to be placed on probation for two years.

The charges of grooming and sexual exploitation of a child will be dismissed as part of the plea agreement, which will be formally accepted on Monday. Raad would no longer be required to wear a monitor on his leg, and he would no longer be restricted to home confinement. Nothing of a sexual nature would be related to the electronic harassment charge, and Raad will not have to register as a sex offender.

Schnack said two sex offender evaluations of Raad — one by Dr. Frank Froman, a clinical psychologist from Quincy, and Dr. Theresa Thompson-Loy with New Beginnings Counseling of Effingham — indicated he was a low risk to re-offend.

Charging documents alleged Raad used the internet on Sept. 23, 2023, to allegedly send pictures of his sex organs and multiple text messages of a sexual nature to a 13-year-old female victim.

“The uncontroverted evidence is that the critical phone call was initiated by the alleged victim and/or an 18-year-old male,” Schnack said after Tuesday’s hearing. “(Raad) responded. There were some pictures that may or may not be appropriate that were sent to Giorgio. And in response, he sent some pictures that were clearly inappropriate to this girl. 

“The question becomes: Did he know she was underage? The conversation was on something called Snapchat, which goes away after 24 hours or almost immediately unless it is saved on the app. I think the state would agree a large percentage of those chats were not saved. That’s why the state couldn’t tell us when this occurred because they don’t know if they occurred.”

Schnack said the photos Raad sent were inappropriate, but not illegal, if he didn’t know the victim was a minor.

“Because of the nature of Snapchat, we all have a problem,” Schnack said. “Putting all cards on the table, we could have won, and we could have lost. Nobody wants to put a bunch of 13- and 14-year-old kids through this. It was not going to be fun for anybody. Thus, the plea agreement.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Keck declined to comment because the plea won’t be accepted and Raad won’t be sentenced until Monday.

Raad was dismissed from the University of Illinois on Jan. 9. He appealed the university’s decision, and his appeal was denied.

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