State still has open investigation on Tom Lakin

Ann Knef Aug. 19, 2009, 10:42am



A special prosecutor said a criminal investigation involving Tom Lakin is still open.

Lakin was sentenced to six years in federal prison in October 2008 after pleading guilty to drug charges. In exchange for pleading guilty to possessing and distributing cocaine to a person under 21 and maintaining a drug-involved premises, federal prosecutors dropped sex charges that carried a sentence of life in prison.

Charles Coburn, one of five special prosecutors from the Illinois Attorney Appellate Prosecutor's Agency, said on Wednesday he couldn't give a time frame as to when the state would file a case against Lakin or drop its investigation.

Lakin is the subject of a civil sexual assault complaint in St. Clair County alleging he had sex with an underage male. The case was originally filed in Madison County in May 2006.

East Alton attorney Ed Unsell, who represents victims in that suit, said the case is on hold pending the state's investigation.

Coburn said there is no statute of limitations concern because of the age of an alleged victim in the investigation.

In June 2006, Madison County State's Attorney Bill Mudge asked for outside assistance because he perceived a conflict of interest if the state were to bring charges against Lakin, founder of the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River.

The firm has since been renamed LakinChapman.

Mudge's former law firm has represented Lakin in the past.

If a conflict of interest arises in a state's attorneys office, and the office wants an independent review and prosecution by an outsider, the Illinois Attorney Appellate Prosecutor's Agency can intervene through its Special Prosecution Unit.

Lakin is serving his sentence at FCI Forrest City, a low security facility for male offenders in eastern Arkansas. He is scheduled to be released Nov. 30, 2013.

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