Appellate court reverses Geneva man’s domestic battery conviction

Court finds evidence favored local political campaign adviser

ELGIN — The Second District Appellate Court in Elgin overturned a Geneva political campaign adviser’s conviction on domestic battery, according to an opinion filed Wednesday.

In a 2-1 decision, the appellate court found that, “The trial court erred in denying defendant’s motion for a directed verdict” and cited case law that all “evidence overwhelmingly favored (the) defendant such that the jury could not have concluded otherwise.”

Jeffrey N. Ward, 62, was charged June 2, 2018, at the scene of a car crash after Geneva officers saw him push his wife, causing her to stumble, according to police and court records.

The 56-page appellate ruling noted that Illinois’ domestic battery statute defines domestic battery as making “physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member.”

The appellate court found that the state “is required to prove that the physical contact insulted or provoked the victim.” Ward’s wife testified that “she was not insulted or provoked by defendant’s contact,” and so, “defendant’s conviction is reversed.”

In an email, Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser stated, “The case has been passed to the Illinois Office of the State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor.”

The appellate prosecutor can let the reversal stand, ask the court for a rehearing, or ask the Illinois Supreme Court to hear the case, according to Illinois Supreme Court rules.