Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Rockford man re-sentenced for 2017 sexual assault

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD – A Rockford man was sentenced to nearly six years in prison Friday for a 2017 sexual assault. 

Jim Lee Buckingham, 57, was ordered to serve to five years for criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony, and one year and 10 months for criminal sexual abuse, a Class 4 felony. He must serve 85 percent of those sentences.

He was originally sentenced last month to a concurrent term of six years– six years for criminal sexual assault and three years for criminal sexual abuse. That sentence, however, did not follow guidelines that require the prison terms to be served consecutively. 

Buckingham’s offences were committed in June 2017 in the 100 Block of South First Street, where he lived. That’s where he made sexual comments to a woman before the assault occurred. A witness was in the apartment when the crimes were committed.

A jury found Buckingham guilty in 2018.

Buckingham, who served in the Army, had been a regular at City Council meetings and often marched in Rockford parades dressed in military camouflage and holding an American flag. He was banned from City Hall for a year in 2010 when he referred to former Mayor Larry Morrissey as a “domestic enemy” during a public speech.

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