‘Why did you pick me?’ Quincy teen given two 10-year sentences for sexual assault of 13-year-old girl in September

Wilson and Woodworth

Attorney Dennis Woodworth looks at Terrance Wilson as he declines to make a statement of allocution during his sentencing Thursday morning in Adams County Circuit Court. | David Adam

QUINCY — The mother of a 13-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted last September said nothing could prepare her for how to write or read a victim impact statement.

“Where do you start when nobody prepares you to find your child, running from the woods screaming and crying, ‘He’s coming, and he has a knife. He will hurt you, Mommy,’” the mother said.

Terrance Wilson, now 17, appeared in Adams County Circuit Court Thursday morning with attorney Dennis Woodworth before Judge Tad Brenner. Wilson waived his right to proceed to juvenile court and pled guilty to two counts of criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony.

He accepted two 10-year sentences to the Illinois Department of Corrections to be served consecutively, and he must serve 85 percent of his sentence under Illinois’ Truth in Sentencing Law. In exchange for the plea, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony punishable for between 16 and 40 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, were dismissed.

Wilson was given credit for 249 days served in the Adams County Jail. He will be sent to a juvenile corrections center but will be moved to an adult corrections center before he turns 21 years old. He also must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Keck told Brenner that if the case had gone to trial, she would have presented evidence that showed the girl was outside of her home on Sept. 24, 2023, taking out the trash. She didn’t return for approximately 10 minutes.

“(The girl) then came running out of the woods, very scared, and ultimately provided information that … a person she did not know who was later identified as the defendant came and threatened to kill her with a knife if she didn’t go with him,” Keck said. 

Keck said Wilson took the girl into the woods and pushed what she believed was a knife into the back of her neck. She said Wilson later stuck his penis into the girl’s mouth and vagina.

“She did so because she was scared that (Wilson) would kill her,” Keck said.

After Wilson was arrested, Keck said he admitted he did not know the girl and he dragged her into the woods “because he wanted to know what it would feel like.”

Wilson was taken into custody without incident on Sept. 25 at Quincy High School.

Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Keck reads a victim impact statement from the 13-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted by Terrance Wilson during Thursday’s sentencing hearing in Adams County Circuit Court. | David Adam

Keck read aloud the victim impact statement written by the girl.

“I just have one question. Why?” the girl wrote. “Why did you pick me out of all people? It’s making me mad that I have to write this statement, just like it’s making me mad to walk around my own neighborhood and to go to school every day, knowing everyone either thinks of me as the broken little girl who needs help or the slut who made him do this to me (or) I’m just saying that I was raped so I wouldn’t get in trouble for being sexually active.

“Well, guess what? I’m not broken. I’m not that scared 13-year-old anymore. I’m 14 now, and I’m stronger than I will ever be. I’m glad you’re going to jail, to be honest, so you can’t do what you did to other people or to other little girls.”

The girl’s mother said she wasn’t prepared to answer the questions she received from “my once happy child.”

“To have your child ask why? Why did he lick me? Am I still a virgin? I don’t understand why my friends can’t be friends anymore, because their parents believe the lies of a rapist and his family?” the mother said. “We have dealt with victim blaming and victim shaming from grown adults, and the same adults allowing their children to call her names and make her feel like she has to act how they see her.

“The worst questions are the ones you cannot answer. ‘Why me? Why me, mommy? I was just trying to take out the trash. Why did he pick me?’ There were kids everywhere. My daughter has become stronger in a way that she should never have to be. She has also become more angry with life and things that have happened to her.”

The mother said while she has dealt with her daughter’s tears and sleepless nights, she said Wilson often appeared for hearings in the courtroom with a smirk on his face.

“He has taken her childhood,” she said. “Who’s next when he ‘just wants to see what it feels like?’ Whose childhood will be sacrificed next for his curiosity?”

Wilson simply shook his head and said nothing when asked if he wanted to make a statement of allocution.

Terrance Wilson is escorted from an Adams County courtroom on Thursday morning by Brady Miller, an officer at the Adams County Juvenile Detention Center. | David Adam

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