URBANA — A Dewey man convicted of committing sex acts upon a teenage girl whom he plied with alcohol was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in prison.
A jury convicted Josh Stover, 49, of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in late March after hearing testimony of how he took the girl to a Rantoul motel on March 7, 2020, allowed her to drink, then left her alone in the room, where she passed out while he was away at a Rantoul bar.
She testified that she fell asleep clothed on the floor between the two beds but woke to find herself naked in Stover’s bed with him on top of her. Swabs taken from her revealed the presence of male DNA from which Stover could not be excluded as the donor.
The jury acquitted Stover of a more serious count of criminal sexual assault.
Assistant State’s Attorney Chris McCallum tried to aggravate Stover’s sentence by having Lt. Josh Sapp of the county jail testify about four arguments in which Stover had been involved during three years in custody.
In one of those, Stover was pummeled until he passed out and sustained a broken jaw and broken orbital bone.
Public Defender Lis Pollock presented no mitigating evidence on Stover’s behalf.
McCallum argued for a 12-year sentence for Stover, who could have received three to 14 years on each count to be served consecutively had the judge found that appropriate.
The prosecutor said he put on evidence of the jail conflicts to show how Stover likes to “run his mouth” and pick fights.
“Absolutely zero remorse has been shown,” argued McCallum, adding that Stover chose to put the victim through the pain and embarrassment of a jury trial and continues to deny he did anything wrong.
“It’s all the Josh Stover show. He’s right and everybody else is wrong,” McCallum said.
But Pollock argued her client did not deserve extra punishment for exercising his right to a jury trial.
She said in the 2020 violent incident at the jail “his entire face was smashed in,” which has exacerbated neck arthritis he has from a previous car accident.
“He acknowledges his drug use was problematic,” said Pollock, who noted he had one DUI conviction and one for possession of drugs but 27 traffic convictions.
She asked Rosenbaum to sentence Stover to the three years and almost three months he’s already served in jail waiting for trial along with probation.
Rosenbaum called the sex acts by Stover on the young woman “a crime of opportunity” as opposed to planned conduct and noted that a sex offender evaluation put him at a low to moderate risk to reoffend.
With credit for time already served, Stover will likely be released from prison in about three months since the sentences for his crimes must be served at 50 percent. He’ll have to register as a sex offender.