Court upholds man's life sentence for sex abuse

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- An Illinois Appellate Court has upheld the life sentence of a man convicted of predatory criminal sexual abuse in Piatt County.

In March 2016, a trial court convicted Travis Rhoades of abusing a girl under the age of 13, and a judge sentenced him to life in prison and a consecutive term of twelve years in prison. Rhoades had a prior conviction in 1998 for assaulting a 12-year-old girl when he was 19 years old and for having sex with two other teenage girls.

Rhoades appealed his life sentence, arguing that, since a life sentence is now the harshest punishment allowed under Illinois law, the criminal code that mandates it in his case is unconstitutional.

The Fourth District Court of Appeals rejected that argument. You can read the decision here.

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