By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD — A Rockford man could spend the rest of his natural life in prison after being sentenced Friday in sexual abuse case involving a 13-year-old victim.
Judge Randy Wilt sentenced 55-year-old James Abron to a total of 65 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on a single count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, three counts of criminal sexual assault and eight counts of child pornography.
Abron was found guilty after a jury trial last October. He was given credit for 790 days time served.
Police say the investigation began in 2016, when a 13-year-old child claimed Abron sexually assaulted her. Investigators later learned that the abuse began when the victim was 11; photographs of the child were found on Abron’s phone.
Abron appeared to downplay the incident before Wilt handed down the sentence, telling the court a “small thing turned into something that’s just gigantic right now.”
“I would like to pray for everybody involved,” he said. “I don’t want to have no hard feelings.”
Abron also said he loved the victim and her mother, who were in court but did not speak.
“This is a life-altering impact on the minor,” Wilt said. “She’s been scarred for life.”
Abron is represented by defense attorney Glenn Jazwiec, who recommended a sentence of 26 years.
Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child is a Class X felony punishable by a sentence of six to 60 years in prison and three years to life on parole. Abron was sentenced to 15 years on that conviction and is required to register as a sex offender.
Criminal sexual assault is a Class 1 felony punishable by a sentence of four to 15 years and two years to life of supervised release. Abron received eight years on those three counts.
Two of the convictions for child pornography are Class 1 felonies punishable by a sentence of four to 15 years. Abron received four years on each of those. The remaining six counts of child Pornography are Class 3 felonies with a sentencing range of two to 5 years and one year of parole. Abron was sentenced to 3 years on each of the six charges.
The sentences for predatory criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault and the Class 1 child pornography charges will be served consecutively.
The sentences for the remaining six counts of child pornography will be served concurrently. R.