By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD – A former Rockford officer will not serve jail time for obstructing in a domestic battery case involving her cousin.
Christina N. Perez, 28, of Machesney Park, pleaded guilty Monday to official misconduct, obstruction of justice conspiracy to commit subornation of perjury and unlawful communication of a witness as part of a plea agreement. She was sentenced to 30 months probation.
Perez was arrested last year after investigators met with a woman who said she was battered by 28-year-old Joseph Perez, who was subsequently charged with domestic battery. During their investigation, police learned that Joseph Perez made illegal contact with the victim with the help of Christina Perez.
Prosecutors say Christina Perez encouraged the domestic violence victim to recant her allegations and tell police her cousin did not strike her. Police say she served as a conduit so Joseph Perez could speak to the woman while he was awaiting trial in the Winnebago County Jail. She also called her directly so Joseph Perez could speak to her.
Christina Perez was placed on administrative leave following her arrest and is no longer with the Rockford Police Department. Because she’s now a convicted felon, she cannot work as an officer in Illinois and must surrender her FOID card.
Perez reacted positively about the sentencing on social media after her hearing, thanking those who have supported her while her case was pending.
“God bless everyone! My heart is filled with nothing but love no matter the hate,” she said on Facebook in response to a post about her sentence. “I can’t comprehend hate and never have. I am truly in awe of how many supporters I have. I am just filled with so many emotions but the strongest one yet is GRATITUDE! I AM better and stronger!! Together, we all are! It’s always been that way for me. I swear, as long as I’m alive, I’ll always serve YOU! I am not myself unless I have you all! I truly thank each and every single person for coming, for the prayers, and for the advise. Even the negativity and lies!”
Joseph Perez, 29, who has an extensive arrest record, pleaded guilty last July to obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit subornation of perjury and was sentenced to two years in prison. Domestic battery charges against him were dismissed.