Stobbs denies Maag's motion to suppress evidence from arrest

Steve Gonzalez May 16, 2008, 4:30am



Madison County Associate Judge Stephen Stobbs denied Thomas Maag's motion to suppress evidence in a criminal case that charges him with soliciting a sex act.

Maag was arrested by the Granite City Police Department for soliciting a prostitute on Nov. 2. Charges were later amended to soliciting a sexual act, a class B misdemeanor. Maag posted $105 bail shortly after his arrest.

Maag, 32, of Highland, is the son of former Illinois Appellate Court Judge Gordon Maag, who unsuccessfully ran for the Illinois Supreme Court in 2004.

In his motion to suppress, Maag argued that evidence that police inventoried should be suppressed because he was arrested before officers had developed the necessary probable cause for doing so.

He also argued that he was arrested before police acquired an arrest warrant.

Represented by Clyde Kuehn of Belleville, Maag argued that both the Illinois and United States Constitution requires that a person has the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures.

"The items of evidence seized were the direct and proximate result of an illegal arrest, and being derivative of that illegality, constitute fruit of the poisonous tree," Kuehn wrote.

Stobbs heard arguments on the matter April 29, and took the case under advisement. He issued his four-page order May 1.

In the order, Stobbs said that Maag had the burden of proof that a particular search and seizure of evidence is unlawful.

Stobbs ruled that there was probable cause to arrest Maag and also ruled that the testimony of Detective Lori Perkins was credible.

Perkins testified that the night Maag was arrested, he contacted her by telephone in response to an advertisement the Granite City Police Department posted on the website "Craig's List" under the erotic services category.

Perkins also testified that Maag agreed to pay her $150 dollars for a one-hour meeting which would include sexual intercourse.

She testified that she gave Maag an address in Granite City where he was to meet her and told him to call when he was close so that she could direct him to the residence.

Perkins testified that Maag arrived in a silver or grey car and that Maag confirmed that he was the one in the vehicle that passed by her window.

She testified that once Maag confirmed that he had arrived, she notified the arresting officers outside the residence that Maag was the one to be arrested.

After Maag's arrest, and over his objection, Maag's vehicle was searched along with his person.

"The Defendant was in possession of money both on his person and in his wallet which was located in his vehicle," Stobbs wrote.

Stobbs also rejected Maag's argument that the search of his vehicle following his arrest violated his rights guaranteed by article I section six of the Illinois Constitution and the fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Stobbs ruled that since Maag's first contact with police occurred while he was inside his vehicle on a cellular phone, the search was consistent with applicable case law regarding vehicle searches.

In addition to Maag, five other individuals were arrested by the Granite City Police Department during the undercover prostitution sting.

They have all pleaded guilty to the charges, were fined and placed on court supervision.

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