Lakin's restitution divided between five community groups

By Steve Gonzalez | Oct 21, 2008

Zip Rzeppa

Tom Lakin's $180,000 restitution has been paid to five area community groups.

U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert ordered that $40,000 each be delivered to Madison County Child Advocacy Center, St. Clair County Advocacy Center, Don Bosco Children Center and Children's Home and Aid (CHASI). Gilbert also ordered $20,000 go to Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

The Madison County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) provides a safe haven for children who were sexually abused to talk about what may have happened to them and to help in limiting the number of times a child has to be interviewed.

According to their Web site, nearly 3,500 children are physically and sexually abused in Madison County each year, although only 10 percent of sexual abuse cases are ever reported.

The St. Clair County Advocacy Center is similar to Madison County's, however it also serves residents of Monroe and Randolph Counties.

The Don Bosco Children Center is operated Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois and serves the people of the state's 28 southern-most counties.

Named after a nineteenth century Italian priest, Don Bosco Children's Center serves boys and girls ages 6-12 through a long-term treatment program.

CHASI was founded in 1990 to support and strengthen the child care system in Illinois.

Based in Granite City, CHASI is an informational resource for: families, child care providers, employers and communities in Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in St. Louis a non-profit organization, providing personal assistance with furniture, food, clothing, rent, utilities, transportation and companionship to people facing economic, emotional or spiritual crisis.

Former KMOV Channel 4 sports director Zip Rzeppa is the current executive director.

Gilbert sentenced Lakin to six years in prison Oct. 8, after Lakin plead guilty to drug charges.

Gilbert told Lakin his actions destroyed not only his life, but the lives of children he supplied cocaine.

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.

Lakin was also ordered to pay the cost of his incarceration and supervised release, which Gilbert estimated to be approximately $128,800.

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