Tag Archives: Cathleen Koch

Former Elburn man pleads guilty to beating toddler

KANE COUNTY—A former Elburn man has pleaded guilty to severely beating a toddler in a St. Charles hotel room while high on heroin in October 2010.

James C. Cooper, formerly of the 700 block of North First Street, Elburn, and most recently of the 1500 block of East Main Street, St. Charles, recently agreed with the Kane County State’s Attorney to a sentence of 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections in exchange for a guilty plea to one count of aggravated battery to a child, a Class X felony.

Circuit Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon accepted the plea.

The morning of Oct. 27, 2010, in a hotel room in the 1500 block of East Main Street, St. Charles, Cooper slammed the victim face-first into the bed. The victim immediately was unresponsive, not breathing and bleeding from her mouth.

After 911 was called, Cooper fled the scene before emergency responders arrived. He was taken into custody three days later in Batavia.

Cooper acknowledged this week in court today that he was under the influence of heroin at the time of the incident.

According to Illinois law, Cooper must serve at least 85 percent of the prison term. He was given credit for at least 519 days served in the Kane County jail, where he had been held since his arrest.

In January 2011, the victim’s mother, co-defendant Cathleen A. Koch, 30, last known address of the 1500 block of East Main Street, St. Charles, was indicted on one count of aggravated battery to a child, a Class X felony, six counts of obstructing justice, each a Class 4 felony, and six counts of endangering the life or health of a child, each a Class A misdemeanor.

The charges against Koch are based on an allegation that she is legally responsible for the abusive acts of Cooper, her paramour.

Illinois Appellate courts have held that a person aids another person in the commission of an offense where she has an affirmative duty to act to protect her child, and chooses not to act.

Koch remains free on $10,000 bond. Her trial has been set to begin at 9 a.m. July 16, in Courtroom 319 in front of Judge Sheldon. If convicted, Koch would face a sentence of between six and 30 years in prison.

“Our office remains committed to seeking justice for the most defenseless and vulnerable in our society,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said. “Certainly, each of us feels a tug at the heart when we learn of a defenseless child being beaten up by someone she should be able to trust will protect her.

“We hope that this case serves as a warning of what can happen to a person who becomes involved with illicit narcotics and violently acts out toward those around him. This defendant acknowledged today in court that he had used heroin many times in this victim’s presence. He is headed to prison, but a child suffered much greater consequences as a result of his selfish and criminal conduct.

“Thanks to the St. Charles Police Department for its thorough investigation of this case, and to Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Cullen and Debra Bree, who prosecuted this case.”

The charges against Koch are not proof of guilt. Koch is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial during which it is the state’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Elburn man indicted for beating toddler

Kane County—An Elburn man and St. Charles woman were indicted Tuesday for their role in the October beating of her toddler.

James C. Cooper, 27, with a last known address on the 700 block of North First Street, Elburn, was indicted today by a Kane County grand jury, on one count of aggravated battery to a child, a Class X felony, and three counts of endangering the life or health of a child, each a Class A misdemeanor.

Cooper was charged by complaint in late October with one count of aggravated battery to a child, a Class X felony.

Cathleen Koch, 28, with a last known address on the 1500 block of Main Street, St. Charles, was indicted by a Kane County grand jury on one count of aggravated battery to a child, a Class X felony, six counts of obstructing justice, each a Class 3 felony, and six counts of endangering the life or health of a child, each a Class A misdemeanor.

The incident took place Oct. 27, 2010, in a hotel room in the 1500 block of East Main Street, St. Charles, where Cooper, Koch and the child had been living for several months.

According to the indictments, Cooper knowingly caused great bodily harm to the toddler in that he applied violent force to her body; that the child was placed in circumstances that endangered her life; and that Koch provided false information to authorities about the incident.

Prosecutors said that the offense was accompanied by exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty and upon proof of that fact could seek an extended sentence for Cooper.

The charges against Koch are based on an allegation that she is legally responsible for the abusive acts of Cooper, her paramour.

The Illinois Supreme Court has recognized that parents have a common law duty to protect their children from known threats, such that, under certain conditions, the omission to act will give rise to criminal liability.

The indictment states that although Cathleen Koch did not personally strike her child, she knew of a serious and immediate threat to the welfare of her child and that her failure to intercede on her child’s behalf makes her legally responsible for the injuries inflicted by Cooper.

Cooper was taken into custody Oct. 29, 2010, in Batavia. He remains in custody in the Kane County jail on $3 million bail. His next court appearance has been set for 9 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 13, in Courtroom 319 in front of Circuit Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon.

Following the indictment, a warrant for Koch’s arrest was issued and her bail was set at $100,000.

If convicted of the most serious charge, Cooper could face a sentence of between six and 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and Koch could face a sentence of between six and 30 years in IDOC.

The charges against Cooper and Koch are not proof of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.