‘Serial domestic abuser’ from Elgin pleads guilty
From Staff Reports October 17, 2012 12:40PM
Quinzeric D. Span, 34 (d.o.b. 6-25-1978), of the 400 block of East Chicago Street, Elgin, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated domestic battery, a Class 2 felony.
Reason for violence
The reasons given by victims of domestic violence who are reluctant to testify are often the same as those given by victims of other types of violent crime. These include:
Fear of retaliation by the defendant.
Unwilling to face the assailant again in the courtroom; afraid of the defendant’s anger for involving the justice system.
A feeling of shame or guilt that the victim’s own behavior may have caused the attack in some way or that the court may perceive the victim’s behavior as causative;
Desire to put the whole incident behind and move on with life.
Denial, ambivalence, withdrawal, and emotional swings as a result of being a victim of severe trauma.
The victim may have genuine concern or love for the abusive partner. The victim may want the violence to end, but not the relationship.
The victim may not have a place to stay safe from the defendant. Leaving home can mean becoming hunted and homeless. A victim may decide life with the defendant is better than the unknown.
Source: New Hampshire Department of Justice report on Domestic Violence
Updated: November 19, 2012 3:11PM
An Elgin man has pleaded guilty to domestic battery after his attempt to get his victim not to testify against him was thwarted — a coercion he had tried unsuccessfully in a previous violence case against another woman, prosecutors said.
Quinzeric D. Span, 34, of the 400 block of East Chicago Street, entered the plea Tuesday before Kane County Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon, who scheduled sentencing for Nov. 29.
“He beats them, apologizes, tells them he loves them and then intimidates them to not testify against him. And then he does it all over again,” said Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon in a statement. “That is the cycle of violence, and that is what the community must recognize if we are to end domestic abuse.”
Because of the circumstances of the case, including Span’s conviction earlier this year on another domestic battery charge involving a different victim, he faces up to 30 years in prison.
According to police and Kane County prosecutors, Span and his girlfriend at the time got into an argument on April 18, 2011, at a house in Elgin. Span grabbed the victim by the shirt and punched her in the face, then forced her to get into a car driven by another person. While in the car, Span continued to punch the victim in the face as she tried to fight him off. The car stopped near the intersection of North Grove Avenue and Seneca Street, and the victim escaped and called 911. Span and the driver then fled.
The victim was taken by ambulance to Sherman Hospital in Elgin, where she was treated for a broken orbital bone and a perforated eardrum, authorities said.
At the time, Span was wanted on a 2010 warrant on charges of aggravated battery to a pregnant person and domestic battery involving another victim. Trial dates for the 2010 case had been set multiple times but that victim had declined to cooperate. Just before the trial was to begin in the 2010 case, Span posted bond and was released from jail and then failed to appear in court for the trial, according to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.
After the April 18, 2011, incident, a second warrant was issued for Span’s arrest, but he remained a fugitive for a year before he was found and taken into custody. A judge ordered Span not to have contact with the victim in the 2011 case, but while at the Kane County jail, Span’s first telephone call was to the victim, prosecutors said.
With Span in custody, the trial date in the 2010 case was re-set. The victim in that case was served with a subpoena to testify. But she again failed to appear for the June 25, 2012, trial, and a new trial date was set for July 23, 2012.
On July 17, prosecutors presented evidence that on multiple occasions Span had contacted the 2010 victim — directly and through third parties — in an attempt to coerce her not to appear for the trial and not to cooperate in his prosecution. At one point, Span offered to buy the victim a cellular telephone with a new telephone number so prosecutors would be unable to find her to serve her with notice of the trial, authorities said.
Despite Span’s attempts to keep her away, the victim in the 2010 case did show up in court on July 23. When Span saw her, he immediately agreed to plead guilty to domestic battery in exchange for a sentence of three years in prison and four years of mandatory parole. Judge Sheldon accepted the plea, and then set an Oct. 15 date for the trial in the 2011 case.
On Monday, the victim in that case failed to appear for the trial and the judge issued a warrant for her arrest for contempt of court. Before jury selection began, Sheldon granted a motion by prosecutors to allow the victim’s statements to other persons about the incident to be presented as evidence. That included evidence of Span’s repeated telephone calls from prison and the Kane County jail to the victim in which Span told her to lie in her testimony about how she was injured, to not cooperate with prosecutors or to not be present for the trial, according to the state’s attorney’s office.
Span also told the victim that he loved her and that they could resume their lives together if she cooperated with him. In attempt to hide his contact with the victim, Span would use the identification numbers of other inmates when he placed the calls, prosecutors said.
The victim was served with a warrant Monday night and was present Tuesday when the trial was set to continue. When Span saw the victim in custody, he immediately asked to plead guilty to that charge.
Span, who also has felony narcotics convictions, faces a sentence of between six and 30 years in prison for the 2011 case. It would be served consecutively to the sentence in the 2010 incident.
“It is probably fate that this violent serial domestic abuser went to trial during Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” McMahon said. “Mr. Span has repeatedly shown all of the signs of the classic domestic abuser, and he has done it with numerous victims. History tells us that Mr. Span will abuse again.
“My thanks to Elgin police Officer Jordan Rapacz, who helped bring Mr. Span to justice, and to Nina Jones at the Kane County jail for her invaluable assistance in tracking Mr. Span’s telephone calls to the victim. Special thanks also goes to Kane County Assistant State’s Attorneys Christina Wascher and Andrew Whitfield, whose tireless preparation for this trial included reviewing hundreds of hours of Mr. Span’s phone calls to his victims. Their perseverance helped ensure that the community could be safe from Mr. Span’s violence.”