IL: Attorneys for sex offender release statement about arrest

Source: 4/22/21

Attorneys for a registered sex offender have released a statement following their client’s arrest for unlawful presence.

Sterling Police arrested Craig D. ____, 25, of Sterling Wednesday, April 20 on three counts of unlawful presence within a school zone by a sex offender, according to a news release from the Sterling Police Department. Craig, a registered sex offender, is alleged to have been on the property of Franklin Elementary School on three separate occasions when children younger than 18 were present.

Attorneys for Craig have released a statement following recent publicity generated by an overzealous law enforcement officer of the Sterling Police Department. On Wednesday, April 20, 2022, Neal was arrested by Officer Todd Messer of the Sterling Police Department. Messer accused Craig of “Unlawful Presence of Sex Offender Within a School Zone.” Following Craig’s arrest, Messer sent press releases to news outlets throughout the community. Messer boasted of the arrest and provided Craig’s mug shot so that it could be plastered all over the news. Messer claimed that Craig had been present on school property of a local elementary school.

This is a case of an overzealous police officer stirring up unnecessary fear and anxiety,” said Attorney James Mertes, Craig’s attorney.

“The parents of this community should not lose sleep worrying about Mr. Neal,” Mertes said. “As a matter of law, Mr. Neal is not a dangerous sexual predator,” Mertes explained. “Mr. Neal has never been convicted of any felony sex offense,” Mertes added.

“Responsible law enforcement should calm fears, not stoke them,” Mertes said. “This is a case of an overzealous cop telling only a small part of the story in order to unnecessarily scare and enrage the community.” Mertes added.

“Mr. Neal intends to plead not guilty to Officer Messer’s claims against him,” Mertes added.

Read the full article


Related posts

Notify of

We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...


  1. Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  2. Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  3. Swear words should be starred out such as f*k and s*t and a**
  4. Please avoid the use of derogatory labels.  Use person-first language.
  5. Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  6. Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  7. Please take personal conversations off this forum.
  8. We will not publish any comments advocating for violent or any illegal action.
  9. We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address that are not personally identifiable.
  10. Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
  11. Please do not post in all Caps.
  12. If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links. Posts that include a URL may take considerably longer to be approved.
  13. We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
  14. We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
  15. Please choose a short user name that does not contain links to other web sites or identify real people.  Do not use your real name.
  16. Please do not solicit funds
  17. No discussions about weapons
  18. If you use any abbreviation such as Failure To Register (FTR), Person Forced to Register (PFR) or any others, the first time you use it in a thread, please expand it for new people to better understand.
  19. All commenters are required to provide a real email address where we can contact them.  It will not be displayed on the site.
  20. Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues via email to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
  21. We no longer post articles about arrests or accusations, only selected convictions. If your comment contains a link to an arrest or accusation article we will not approve your comment.
  22. If addressing another commenter, please address them by exactly their full display name, do not modify their name. 
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

It’s nice to read a good rebuttal to the usual hysterical headlines.

I am trying to understand how a person when 19 had consensual sex with a 16 year old is a danger to society and why society needs to fear him.

In many countries this is not a crime. And in more and more states this is also not a crime. And in many countries it is not a crime to just be present somewhere.

And in this case, the occurrence was at least 5 years prior. So during the last 5 years has he committed or attempted to commit any sex crimes? I bet the answer is no because if he had, I am sure the LE person in the article would have also plastered that information too. And if he had, I bet the judge would not have released him with no bail.

I think David here summed it up best about the actual purpose of the sex offender arrest headlines though I want to add that I think another purpose is so LEs can justify their jobs and keep their jobs.

So how does one reproof a proof? I’ll let you all answer that one. Course the intent was their from the beginning or are all walking on pins and needles. Overzealous to brand one or label one an offender.. whether its sex, drugs, thief… Sure anyone can be overzealous but all in its proper prospective. While actions speak louder than words who knows the intents of the heart. So how evil is a persons’ heart?

Yes being overzealous is a force that drives others. Part of the nature of the beast even in these registry issues. Even actions in many ways can be good or bad. or is it really all about this database fraud or this debasing of one’s character.

Calming fears, stroking fears, inducing to defraud with these intentions. One can either have good intents or bad intentions and some seemed to see how far one would go in this role play which is all it is in many ways.. Even today this call may be monitored for quality assurance.. One wonders what the real intent was/is behind the monitoring. Guess people still want to be their own God and judge another.. So where is the knowledge and wisdom of today. That right its all in the database that can put one in jeopardy. Sounds like an open mouth insert foot issue. Wonder what the intent of murder is today. Guess its Mickey mouse playing mini mouse

One wonders what due process is today in this registry issue. Is much of this paint by numbers or we have you on video, cam, he said she said, or are police, courts, judges, and those legal scholars wrong in many ways and means. One wonders who’s monitoring who. Guess shame comes in all sexes and sizes of lies.