Frankfort man pleads guilty to predatory criminal sexual assault of a child

A Frankfort man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after he was convicted this week of sexually assaulting a child in Livingston County.

Judge Jennifer Bauknecht sentenced Jeremy Coates, 39, of Frankfort, to 25 years in prison on Wednesday after he pleaded guilty the same day to predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

Coates must serve 85% of his 25-year prison sentence. He also must register as a sex offender.

Prosecutors dismissed two child pornography charges against Coates as part of a plea agreement, court records show.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced the sentence in a news release on Thursday.

“This sentencing highlights the importance of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in tracking down and prosecuting individuals who assault and exploit children,” Raoul said. “My office will continue to partner with local law enforcement and states attorney’s offices throughout Illinois to ensure justice for victims of exploitation and sexual assault.”

Raoul said he prosecuted the case with Livingston County State’s Attorney Randy Yedinak’s office.

In a statement, Yedinak thanked Raoul’s office and local law enforcement “for their assistance in ensuring a dangerous predator is off our streets.”

“Anyone who commits heinous crimes against children will be held accountable under the law,” Yedinak said.

Coates still has seven child pornography charges in Will County from a 2020 case that is still pending. Raoul’s office is prosecuting that case in Will County. The case is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on May 19.

Coates was arrested on June 24, 2020, on the Will County child pornography charges. He was sent to the Livingston County jail about four months later.

Raoul said the Coates case is part of his work to investigate and prosecute child pornographers in Illinois. He said the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which his office runs, receives online reports of child pornography from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“Over the last several years, CyberTipline reports have steadily increased; in fact, reports to the ICAC during 2021 increased by 42% over 2020,” Raoul said.