Ex-McHenry sheriff’s deputy set up prostitution deals, bought cocaine on county phone, prosecutors allege

Christopher Marvel also is accused of trying to help someone fraudulently pass a drug screen, court records show


A former McHenry County Sheriff’s deputy is accused of using a county cellphone to negotiate prostitution deals and buy cocaine, according to a criminal complaint filed by prosecutors in McHenry County court.

Christopher Marvel, 39, of Poplar Grove, also is accused of trying to help someone fraudulently pass a drug screening by substituting the urine of a child, according to the complaint.

He is charged with eight counts of official misconduct, Class 3 felonies; defrauding a drug and alcohol test; and two counts of solicitation of a sexual act, records show. A conviction of a Class 3 felony carries a possible sentence of two to five years in prison. However, such a conviction also could result in probation.

Marvel is accused of arranging for a woman he knows to engage in prostitution multiple times in September while using his county-issued phone.

“While acting in his official capacity and with the intent to obtain a personal advantage for himself ... [Marvel] used a cellular telephone belonging to the county of McHenry to relay the terms of a prostitution deal to [a woman], for which he and [the woman] would be financially compensated,” according to the complaint.

He also is accused of using his county-issued cellphone to buy cocaine multiple times in September, according to the complaint, which further alleged that Marvel used his personal cellphone in October to solicit “a person [who is] not his spouse” for sex.

The criminal complaint also alleged that the woman for whom Marvel arranged prostitution deals is the same person he allegedly tried to help defraud a drug test by passing off a child’s urine as her own.

Marvel joined the sheriff’s office in 2006 and resigned after Illinois State Police began investigating him in September, according to records released by the sheriff’s office under the Freedom of Information Act.

On Sept. 16, McHenry County Sheriff’s Office administration was notified of an off-duty incident involving Marvel, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. After learning about the incident, Marvel was immediately placed on administrative leave, according to the release.

“[The] McHenry County Sheriff’s Office is deeply disturbed and disappointed in the actions of now-former Detective Christopher Marvel,” according to the release.

On Feb. 16, the Illinois State Police and the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office filed the charges against Marvel, although the charging documents initially were sealed, and Marvel did not appear in the county jail log.

Marvel was released from the county jail immediately after his arrest and is due back in court April 19.

Marvel appeared in court briefly Friday to sign documents agreeing to the conditions of his pretrial release. Unlike at an earlier hearing, his lawyer Edward Donahue did not object to prosecutors’ motion to unseal the case documents.

Northwest Herald reporter Claire O’Brien contributed to this report.