A Mendota man was sentenced Friday to 4 years in prison for sexually abusing two children in La Salle County, with more time possibly coming for a similar charge in Lee County.
Clayton J. Wood, 55, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony carrying 3-7 years in prison, for illicit contact with two children, then 9 years of age, in late summer 2016.
In exchange for his pleas, La Salle County prosecutors agreed to an unusual, but not unprecedented, sequence of penalties. Wood will serve 4 years in prison (less 15 months’ credit for time served) followed by 4 years of reporting probation, assuring at least some supervision for most of remaining decade.
Wood declined an opportunity to address Judge Cynthia M. Raccuglia before sentencing.
Prosecutors also agreed to give Wood one more week before he reports to prison, but only so that he can complete a plea agreement in Lee County, where he was charged in 2018 for sexually abusing another child. Raccuglia warned him that she seldom grants a stay of sentence in cases of this magnitude and that he must stay out of the trouble.
The La Salle County State’s Attorney’s Office said there is no tandem arrangement with Lee County and that any outcome there is between Wood and authorities in Dixon.
The Lee County State’s Attorney’s Office confirmed Wood is scheduled for a plea hearing on Aug. 4.
Friday’s plea disposes of a case that was approaching the five-year mark. The 9-year-olds reported Wood abused them between mid-August and mid-September of 2016 and the investigation resulted in charges filed the following year.
It’s rare for a sex case to take four years to settle, but Wood bounced back and forth between the Dixon and Ottawa courts, switched lawyers and tried to plead out the La Salle County case in spring 2018, but Raccuglia refused to accept the plea.