CAMBRIDGE -- Henry County Circuit Court Judge Charles "Casey" Stengel on Thursday sentenced Justin Bealer, 28, of Colona, to 14 consecutive sentences of natural life in prison for 14 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.
Mr. Bealer also was sentenced to five years in prison on numerous other counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child. He was convicted in two separate trials of offenses against multiple victims.
The youngest victim was just 4 at the time of the assaults in 2010.
"It's clear for the court that you're a pedophile, and clear that society has to be protected from pedophiles," Judge Stengel said as he imposed the sentences.
Defense attorney Marc Wolfe attempted to cite case law indicating Mr. Bealer would be eligible for minimum six-year terms for Class X felonies. But Judge Stengel said it was clear the law meant for the crime to be subject to natural life in prison.
Henry County State's Attorney Terry Patton said Mr. Bealer assaulted three victims multiple times over a five-year period, abusing their trust and taking advantage of their youth and immaturity.
After the sentencing, Mr. Patton talked about the many hours law enforcement put into the case, saying that, as often as he was calling them with requests, he was surprised they hadn't begun blocking his calls.
Davenport police officer William Hurt, who reviewed Mr. Bealer's computer, and state police investigators Anthony Romeo and Corey Peck always dropped what they were doing and got the answers he needed, Mr. Patton said.
"My only regret is that he only has one natural life that he can serve, because he deserves it for what he did to all these girls," Mr. Patton said. He added the girls deserved the most credit.
"It was incredible that they were able to go through with that and did not give up," he said.
The mother of one of the victims said she was very happy with the prosecutorial team.
"I'm just very happy that it's over and no one else is going to get hurt, because he would have kept on doing it," she said.
Prior to Thursday's sentencing, the judge denied the defense's motion for new trials.
Today is Wednesday, July 30, the 211th day of 2014. There are 154 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: After Sept. 1, every small box of matches will be required to have a 3 cent duty Lincoln stamp on it, and every large box will be one cent for every 100 matches. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Rock Island residents had contributed a total of $1,293 to the American Red Cross for the Johnstown flood relief fund. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Capt. Clark Means, new darkhorse twirler for the ARGUS staff, was in great form in his initial contest as a mound laborer. The result was that THE ARGUS trimmed the Union 6-5. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Hunter and Humprey Moody, young Decatur, Ill, brothers, lack only a few hours of establishing a new world light plane endurance record. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Gates of the 110th annual Mercer County Fair swing open tonight at Aledo for a full week of day and night activity. More that $36,000 will be paid in premiums and race purses. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The baseball field carved out of the cornfield near Dyersville, Iowa, continues to keep dreams alive for hundreds of visitors. Tourists from 26 state and France have visited Dan Lansing's farm to see the baseball diamond seen in the hit movie "Field of Dreams."