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1996 I was about 2.5-3months pregnant w/my one&only child. JPD (Joliet Police Department) arrested me for what I thought would be trespassing … They placed me in handcuffs and threw me in the backseat of squad car… I was crying hysterically …as I’ve “never” been arrested a day in my life…. I began to plea w/them explaining I resided in the projects (location of my arrest)&I was pregnant (they had no mercy)… They told me to shut up&sprayed peppers spray in my face… i could not see&began to hyper ventilate…while I was in back of squad car….I screamed, spit..(trying to get the horrible taste of pepper spray out of my mouth)&kicked (please keep in mind My hands were cuffed .. Behind my back)…. I was booked into the Will County Adult detention facility&charged w/aggravated battery&criminal damage to property.

How could I be charged of such crimes…While I was clearly in handcuffs??? Whatever happen to the initial criminal trespassing charge?????
I guess…the trespassing charge wouldn’t of held sufficient grounds to permanently scar my name… So it went away.
I was pregnant, violated, & humiliated!

I was 17 years young @ the time of my arrest…& very naive of criminal charges… I spent the night in the County and wasn’t taken to court until 1pm (after the swelling of my eyes went down from being pepper sprayed)… I plead not guilty all the way up until my trial date…(months later)… I was mislead by my public defender to change my plea… To guilty… The public defender scared the life out of me saying there was a huge chance my baby would be born in the state prison if I didn’t. So me being so naive @ the time… Change my plea to guilty…
I had no idea of the detrimental effect this would cause long haul.
These criminal cases have haunted me for the past 16 years. I am now considered a convicted felon. By the grace of God .. My past employer of 11 years opted to give me a chance because I was very honest about my past.
I lost my job over a year ago & decided to pursue my education to become an Occupational Therapist. I can not work in the health field w/such criminal history.
I have not been in trouble since the incident nor have I had any more children. I am a single mother speaking out&crying for help… As I was pregnant, violated, & wrongfully accused.
I was told these charges can’t be expunged. This is my first cry for help. I stand & speak for all those who’s have been wrongfully accused.
User story by Hear my humble cry in Illinois

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