Special prosecutor says state is still working on case against Tom Lakin

Ann Knef Feb. 9, 2010, 9:00am


A special prosecutor investigating child sexual assault allegations against Tom Lakin said the case is still on-going.

Charles Coburn, one of five special prosecutors from the Illinois Attorney Appellate Prosecutor's Agency, said today he was still going through evidence in the case.

Coburn said he didn't want to give a "set date" as to when the state would file a case against Lakin or drop its investigation.

"It's fair to contact me in a month," he said.

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 involving minors that carried a sentence of life in prison.

Coburn was appointed special prosecutor in June 2006, after 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 had indicated that his former law firm had represented Lakin in the past. Mudge is running for circuit judge and faces no opposition in the November general election.

Lakin also is the subject of a pending 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 has been on hold pending the state's investigation.

Unsell said Tuesday that his clients have not been interviewed by the special prosecutor since the conclusion of Lakin's federal case.

"It's not that difficult of a case," Unsell said. "He either sexually abused a 15 year old boy or he did not."

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

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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