In the Courts: 4 Charged in Overdose Death, Sugar Grove Man Guilty of Predatory Sex Assault Charges
The following is a roundup of Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office news releases from Friday, March 17, through Thursday, March 23, 2017.
FOUR MEN CHARGED FOR SOLICITING SEX WITH CHILDREN
March 21, 2017
The Kane County State’s Attorney has authorized felony charges against four Chicago-area men for soliciting a sexual encounter with a child or children in exchange for cash.
The men face one count each of involuntary sexual servitude of a minor, a Class X felony, traveling to meet a minor, a Class 3 felony, and grooming, a Class 4 felony.
Kane County prosecutors allege that on March 10, 2017, each of the men traveled to a location in Aurora expecting to have a sexual encounter with a minor or minors.
Those charged, with age, address, bail amount and court information:
- Jarrett O. Ferguson, 25, 1300 block of Naperville Road, Wheaton; March 23, Courtroom 313, Kane County Judicial Center, $100,000 bail.
- Ramesh Gannamani, 36,, 900 block of Beau Drive, Des Plaines; March 22, Courtroom 313, Kane County Judicial Center, $400,000 bail.
- Olatokunbo Olawoye, 44, 500 block of Declaration Lane, Aurora; April 5, Courtroom 217, Kane County Judicial Center, $50,000 bail.
- Carlos J. Zaca, 21, 200 block of Bevier Place, Aurora; March 22, Courtroom 311 Kane County Judicial Center, $300,000 bail.
If convicted of the most serious offense, each would face a sentence of between six and 30 years’ imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Homeland Security Investigations and the Aurora Police Department conducted the investigation.
The charges against Ferguson, Gannamani, Olewoye and Zaca are not proof of guilt. They are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
SUGAR GROVE MAN GUILTY OF PREDATORY SEX ASSAULT
March 20, 2017
A Kane County jury has convicted a Sugar Grove man of sexually abusing a foster child who was living with his family more than a decade ago.
The jury on March 17, 2017, convicted Noel F. Buhay, 49, of three counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, each a Class X felony.
Kane County prosecutors presented evidence during the five-day trial that between January 2004 and May 2004 Buhay repeatedly sexually assaulted the victim. The victim, a foster child living with Buhay’s family, was younger than 12 years old at the time of the assaults, which occurred in Buhay’s home.
Circuit Judge Donald M. Tegeler, Jr., set Buhay’s next court appearance for 1:30 p.m. June 2, 2017, for motions and sentencing. Buhay faces a sentence of between 18 and 90 years’ imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Buhay had been free on $30,000 bond. Bond was revoked upon conviction and Buhay was taken into custody.
In addition to the prison term, Buhay must register for life as a sexual offender in accordance with the Illinois Sexual Offender Registration Act.
The case was investigated by the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services and the Kane County Child Advocacy Center.
The case was prosecuted by Kane County Assistant State’s Attorneys Lori Schmidt and Andrew Whitfield.
Noel F. Buhay: 49, of the 1100 block of Dorr Drive, Sugar Grove.
AURORA MAN GETS 12 YEARS FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER IN BRUTAL 2015 BEATING
March 17, 2017
An Aurora man who brutally stomped on a man’s head long after he had lost consciousness will serve a lengthy prison sentence as a result.
A Kane County judge on March 17 sentenced 56-year-old Darnell Wynn to 12 years’ imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office on Jan. 18, 2017, secured the conviction of Wynn from Circuit Judge Donald M. Tegeler, Jr., on charges of attempted murder, a Class X felony, and aggravated battery, a Class 1 felony.
Kane County Assistant State’s Attorneys Greg Sams and Lori Anderson presented evidence during the trial that at about 9 p.m. Sept. 22, 2015, Wynn and his girlfriend were near the intersection of Middle Avenue and Cross Street in Aurora when the victim rode by on his bicycle. Wynn and the victim exchanged words and then squared off for a fist fight. Wynn struck the victim with a few punches and the victim fell to the ground.
After the victim lost consciousness, Wynn continued to punch him in the face and head 20 more times. At that point a motorist who had seen the altercation stopped his car and yelled to Wynn, “Stop! You’ve won! You’ll kill him!” The witness then left to call 911. Wynn stood up, walked around for a few seconds then stomped on the victim’s head 22 times, once with both feet, before he left.
The victim suffered multiple broken facial bones and was hospitalized for several months. He has permanent scarring, some memory loss and struggles with everyday activities and motor-skill impairment.
According to Illinois law, Wynn must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence. He receives credit for 540 days served in the Kane County jail.
Darnell Wynn: 56, of the 100 block of West Galena Boulevard, Aurora
FOUR CHARGED IN OVERDOSE DEATH OF SUGAR GROVE TWP WOMAN
VICTIM INGESTED FENTANYL-LACED HEROIN
March 17, 2017
The Kane County State’s Attorney has authorized criminal charges against four persons in the February overdose death of a Sugar Grove Township woman.
The four helped to provide lethal narcotics to 21-year-old Ashley M. Mastel, who died after ingesting the drugs. Each of the four individuals is charged with a single count of drug-induced homicide, a Class X felony.
The defendants appeared March 17 in Kane County bond court. Those charged, with age, address, bail and next court appearance:
- Johnny L. Williams, 56, of the 1200 block of Indiana Avenue, St. Charles; $150,000 bail, 9 a.m. March 31,2017, in Courtroom 319 at the Kane County Judicial Center
- Neal R. Crowder, 26, of the 1400 block of Fagan Court, Batavia; $100,000 bail, 9 a.m. March 24, 2017, in Courtroom 305 at the Kane County Judicial Center
- Joseph Tortorella, 26, of the 1500 block of Haines Drive, Batavia; $20,000 bail, 9 a.m. April 7, 2017, in Courtroom 305 at the Kane County Judicial Center
- Eric P. Anthony, 21, 3500 block of Voltaire Lane, St. Charles; $50,000 bail, 9 a.m. April 6, 2017, in Courtroom 305 at the Kane County Judicial Center
The Kane County State’s Attorney alleges that on Feb. 20, 2017, Williams, Crowder, Tortorella and Anthony helped to provide illegal narcotics to Mastel. She ingested the narcotics and was found dead the next day at her home in unincorporated Sugar Grove Township. Authorities determined that her death was the result of fentanyl intoxication.
Fentanyl is an opioid pain medication that often is added to heroin as a cutting agent.
If convicted, each faces a sentence of between six and 30 years’ imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
The case was investigated by the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The charges against these defendants are not proof of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.