WAUKEGAN, Ill. (STMW) — The mental fitness of a Chicago man charged with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a young Mundelein girl was called into question Thursday in Lake County Circuit Court.
Jose Reyes, 28, who worked in Libertyville, is charged with multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated kidnapping and production of child pornography. If convicted on all or most of the charges, he could face life in prison.
Reyes has pleaded not guilty and his trial is currently set for May 27.
At a pretrial hearing Thursday morning, March 20, his defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Catherine Hatch, raised concerns about Reyes’s fitness, and stated that she has had some difficulty in obtaining the defendant’s cooperation in preparing his case.
Judge Mark Levitt told Reyes that based on Hatch’s request, he was ordering an evaluation to determine his fitness for trial.
Levitt also addressed complaints Reyes has had about his defense counsel.
“If you are unable to afford an attorney, I appoint one to you,” Levitt said, explaining that Public Defender Joy Gossman had assigned Hatch to the case, and adding that she is one of the “best attorneys in the county.’”
Reyes responded that he understood.
Reyes was arrested Oct. 2, 2013, for the alleged abduction of the three-year-old Mundelein girl Sept. 30 near the entrance to a condominium complex at 555 Deepwoods Drive in the village.
The girl, who had been walking with her mother when she was taken, was missing for about 30 minutes before she was returned to the area.
After Thursday’s hearing, Assistant State’s Attorney Fred Day said that the state does not object to an evaluation of Reyes.
“We certainly will go ahead with it and figure it out,” Day said. “We want to follow the proper process. We want him to be fit.”
Hatch noted and Day confirmed that Reyes faces a minimum of 24 years in prison if convicted.
Reyes is being held in the Lake County Jail in lieu of $5 million bond.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)