Come on, Daily Herald. You can do better.



When I think of local papers who don’t care about actually “reporting” local court news but would rather cut-and-paste from State’s Attorney press releases, I don’t normally think of the Daily Herald.  They’re doing everything they can to change that, though.  When catching up on my local crime news today, I first came across this article about a man in Geneva who, the paper says, admit to some fairly serious sex crimes and underage porn charges:

The Daily Herald article:

A Geneva man admitted Friday to videotaping sexual acts between him and a minor during a six-month period starting in late 2012.

Robert R. Schamne, 23, of the 1000 block of Manchester Course, pleaded guilty to child pornography and criminal sexual assault, according to the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.

Judge John A. Barsanti accepted the plea.

Schamne, who must register for life as a sex offender, faces up to 45 years in prison. His next court date is Nov. 14, but it is not known if he will be sentenced then.

Schamne videotaped sexual acts between himself and the victim between November 2012 and April 2013, according to the state’s attorney.

Schamne remains in Kane County jail on $300,000 bail.


The Kane County Prosecutor’s press release:

A Geneva man has pleaded guilty to videotaping sexual acts between him and a minor he knew.

Robert R. Schamne, 23 (d.o.b. 5-24-1991), of the 1000 block of Manchester Course, Geneva, today pleaded guilty to child pornography, a Class X felony, and criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony.

Circuit Judge John A. Barsanti accepted the plea and set Schamne’s next court appearance for 1 p.m. Nov. 14, 2014, in Courtroom 319 at the Kane County Judicial Center for sentencing.

Schamne faces a sentence of between 10 and 45 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. In addition, Schamne must register for life as a sexual offender in accordance with the Illinois Sexual Offender Registration Act. According to evidence presented today in court, between Nov. 18, 2012, and April 3, 2013, Schamne videotaped an act of sexual penetration between himself and the victim, who was younger than 18 years old.

Schamne remains in the Kane County jail, where he has been held since his arrest in lieu of $300,000 bail.

The case was prosecuted by Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Andrew Whitfield, who is assigned to the Kane County Child Advocacy Center, and investigated by the advocacy center. 

Totally objective, right?  I mean, there’s no way they just took the State’s Attorney’s press release, moved some stuff, deleted some stuff, and put it out there as objective.

As somebody who has certainly done his share to help the media when asked (and even not when asked), no newspaper has ever done anything like this with anything I’ve written.  Don’t get me wrong, parts of motions, briefs or other filings of mine have made their way to the press. They are almost always followed by a phone call. Then a call over to the prosecutor’s office for their perspective.

Why doesn’t that happen with the government’s press releases?  Especially with a bigger paper.

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