SYCAMORE – Jimmy Reiss said he has new evidence that he didn't sexually assault a 7-year-old girl in September 2011, and that with a better lawyer, he wouldn't have been convicted.
Reiss, 45, formerly of the 1800 block of Raintree Court in Sycamore, was sentenced in April 2014 to 18 years in prison for predatory criminal sexual assault, and has reached the second of three steps with his petition to have his conviction vacated.
In his petition for post-conviction relief, Reiss claims a cousin was awake and in the room at the time of the incident, and that no abuse occurred. It also said Reiss' public defender failed to challenge the state's expert witness, the victim's counselor, and also failed to subpoena the victim's previous treatment records.
Reiss was a longtime family friend of the victim and abused her Sept. 17, 2011, while Reiss and a 16-year-old were supervising her, authorities have said. A four-day trial in April 2013 resulted in a hung jury, but jurors convicted Reiss of predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse after a three-day trial in January 2014.
The victim has Asperger’s syndrome and has trouble communicating, but testified at both trials. She is plagued with nightmares, worries of being pregnant and is undergoing counseling, her parents and prosecutors said.
The petition was filed because Reiss exhausted his appeals. According to court records, Reiss' conviction was affirmed Aug. 18, 2015, by a state appellate court, and Jan. 20, 2016, the state's Supreme Court denied his appeal.
The case is due back in court July 27.