Should Candidates For Prosecutor Visit Victims’ Homes?


The Peoria (IL) Journal Star has questioned the behavior of a candidate for prosecutor who visited the home of a victim in a pending case. The incumbent State’s Attorney, Kevin Lyons, charges that challenger Darin LaHood “acted improperly and perhaps unethically by injecting himself into an ongoing rape investigation.” Lyons says LaHood spoke to the mother of a teen sex assault victim, making disparaging remarks about how the case had been handled, and left his business card, Lyons says. Lyons contends that LaHood initially misrepresented himself to the family as “the new prosecutor of the case.”

LaHood admits the visits but says the issue is that an alleged rapist became an alleged serial rapist because Lyons didn’t prosecute him after previous arrests. Lyons says that as a candidate, he has an obligation to determine how victims are treated in the justice system. In an editorial, the newspaper says the criminal case may have been compromised and that a change of venue may be necessary, in part because LaHood called the defendant a “monster” on television. “Rhetorical restraint is not such a bad thing in a state’s attorney,” the newspaper says.


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