BLOOMINGTON — Jason Mason’s history of molesting children was well-established before he was charged in 2011 with sexually assaulting three more victims, a psychiatrist testified Tuesday at court proceedings to determine if he should be declared a sexually dangerous person.
The 41-year-old Bloomington man pleaded guilty in Mason County in 1992 to molesting a 6 year-old girl. That same year, he was introduced to three young children whom he allegedly abused over several years, Assistant State’s Attorney Adam Ghrist told the jury in his opening remarks.
If the jury deems Mason sexually dangerous, he could be held in a treatment program until the state determines he is rehabilitated.
Mason is challenging the state’s petition filed under the sexually dangerous person law.
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Dr. Angeline Stanislaus testified that she reviewed Mason’s criminal history and the 2011 allegations from two boys and a girl, all minors, as part of her evaluation of Mason. His pattern of illegal conduct combined with a mental disorder that predisposes him to abuse children were among the factors that make Mason a sexually dangerous person who is likely to re-offend, said the doctor.
The girl and one of a boys named in sexual assault charges are scheduled to testify via closed-circuit TV from another room of the McLean County Law and Justice Center later this week. Judge Scott Drazewski approved the state’s first-ever request for a closed-circuit TV link in a sexually dangerous person proceeding after hearing arguments from prosecutors about the potential harm the children could suffer if forced to be near their alleged abuser.
The children’s testimony will be difficult to listen to, said the prosecutor.
The state has elected to seek Mason’s civil commitment in lieu of moving forward on the aggravated predatory criminal sexual assault charges pending since 2011.
In opening statements, Ghrist said Mason admitted to Normal police during questioning that the children slept with him and that some sexual contact occurred. Mental health professionals will be among the state’s 15 witnesses.