WARSAW — An Illinois man was sentenced to three years in the Indiana Department of Corrections Thursday, Nov. 7.
Joseph Thomas Savarino Jr., 42, 150 S. Country Court, Bourbonnais, Ill., pleaded guilty to two counts of obscene performance, both level 6 felonies, in Kosciusko County Superior Court I.
On Nov. 27, a detective with the Bourbonnais, Ill., Police Department spoke with two children under the age of 14 years old. The detective had received information that they had been touched inappropriately by Savarino.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, one of the children told the detective that Savarino had slept between them in the same bed. The child said that sometime during the evening, Savarino inappropriately touched her under her clothing. The child said this occurred for about one hour and she told her mother what had happened when she got home.
The second child told the detective that Savarino had slept in the same bed as her and also touched her inappropriately under her clothing.
The detective spoke with Savarino, who admitted that he had stayed in a hotel room with the two children and that they had slept in the same bed. He said he thought one of the children was having a dream and that at one time she was lying on top of him.
The victims’ mother gave a victim impact statement. She said she had trusted Savarino to care for her children in her absence.
“It was the last thing I could have ever imagined would happen,” she said. “So much has been taken from my daughters that can never be replaced.” The victims’ mother said she thought her family may someday be able to forgive Savarino if he were to offer a sincere apology.
“I believe he really is a good man who has made mistakes,” she said.
Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brad Voelz read written victim impact statements from both victims.
“I was scared and confused,” the first victim impact letter read. “I was afraid my mom wouldn’t believe me.”
The letter written by the second victim read, in part, “I felt scared that night. I feel safer sleeping by my mom. I just want to forget about it.”
Cates acknowledged that Savarino had no history of criminal activity.
“This wasn’t a mistake you made,” Cates said. “This was a choice you made. This is all on you.”
“As for forgiveness,” Cates continued, “That’s a different court entirely.”
Cates sentenced Savarino to three years at the Indiana Department of Corrections — one and a half years for each charge. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively. One year of the sentence was ordered to be suspended and served on formal probation.
Savarino was given one day of jail time credit. He was ordered to register as a sex offender and to complete an assessment and any recommended follow-up at the Bowen Center. He was also ordered to pay a $500 sex offender fee and to have no contact with the victims.