Maag's solicitation trial continued, again

Steve Gonzalez Jul. 17, 2008, 4:42am

Thomas Maag

Thomas Maag's criminal trial over charges of soliciting a sex act has been continued for the third time at his request.

Madison County Associate Judge Stephen Stobbs granted Maag's motion to continue the July 14 trial and reset the trial date for 9 a.m. on Aug. 12.

Prosecutor Tom Gibbons did not object to the continuance.

The Granite City Police Department arrested Maag for allegedly soliciting a prostitute Nov. 2, 2007. Charges were later amended to soliciting a sexual act, a class B misdemeanor.

One of Maag's lawyers, Michael Reid of Edwardsville, posted $105 bail shortly after Maag's 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.

Originally the trial was set to begin May 12, but lawyers for Maag requested a continuance which was granted after the prosecutor did not object.

The trial was then rescheduled to begin June 16, but on June 11 Maag's lead lawyer, Clyde Kuehn, filed a motion stating he would be in Kentucky for Father's Day weekend.

Stobbs then set the trial for July 14. The judge set the final pretrial hearings for 9 a.m. on Aug. 11.

In addition, Stobbs set a hearing for 10 a.m. Aug. 4, on Maag's motion in which he is asking Stobbs to reconsider a ruling that denied his motion to suppress evidence that was related to his arrest.

Maag has argued that evidence police inventoried should be suppressed because he was arrested before officers had developed the necessary probable cause for doing so.

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

Stobbs heard arguments on the matter April 29, and took the case under advisement. He issued a 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 Granite City Police 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 Web site "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 have included sexual intercourse.

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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