WAUKEGAN, Ill. (STMW) – A north suburban Waukegan man took a plea deal that kept him out of prison for an incident in which he took a needle and thread to his son’s buttocks.

Randy Swopes, 52, represented himself in court Friday to accept a plea deal that sentenced him to 24 months of probation and 250 hours of public service for the January 2008 incident, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Danielle Pascucci.

Swopes’ son was 14 at the time of the incident. The teenager has Crohn’s Disease, which is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system destroys healthy tissue, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Crohn’s Disease affects the gastrointestinal tract and can cause fevers, stomach pain and other problems depending on which part of the gastrointestinal system is affected.

Swopes’ son was suffering from a fistula at the time of the offense. A fistula is an abnormal connection between an organ and another structure.

The teenage boy had a fistula in his butt and his father opted to sew it shut himself rather than take his son to the hospital, Pascucci said. The 14-year-old wound up in the hospital for almost a month because the wound became infected, she said.

Swopes was charged with aggravated battery and could have spent two to five years in prison for this offense. He took an Alford plea, which admits that there is enough evidence to convict but is not a direct admission of guilt, Pascucci said.

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