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Normal man sentenced to life for sexual assault of a child

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BLOOMINGTON — A Normal man was sentenced to what amounts to life in prison Friday for predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

Austin R. Doyle, 30, was sentenced 50 years for each of the six felony charges of sexual assault against a child, which he pleaded guilty to in December. The sentences are to be served consecutively.

Austin Doyle


Eleventh Circuit Court Judge Casey Costigan issued the sentence after he said he reviewed more than 300 videos and/or photos “of instances where you sexually assaulted this young child and that is very, very troubling to the court.”

“The evidence produced in this case, in the court’s opinion, warrants the severe and the highest punitive sanctions. This court believes that not only this young girl needs protection from you for the rest of her life, but the community does as well,” Costigan said.

All of Doyle’s charges involve the same minor victim. The child was younger than 10 years old when the abuse first began and it lasted three years, Assistant State’s Attorney Erika Reynolds said when reading a victim impact statement.

Two of the counts came from incidents that occurred between Aug. 1, 2017, and Dec. 30, 2018; two occurred between Dec. 31, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2019; one occurred between Aug. 1, 2017, and Jan. 4, 2020; and one occurred between Jan. 1 and Jan. 4, 2020.

The child told police that Doyle had made sexual contact about 30 times.

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“I don’t know that there’s any words in the English language that can properly illustrate the type of harm that the defendant caused and the repercussions for that inflicted on (the minor victim) that she will be dealing with for the rest of her life,” Reynolds said.

Defense lawyer Brendan Bukalski of the Johnson Law Group in Bloomington agreed with Reynolds, but said Doyle is mentally “unwell.”

He asked Costigan to sentence Doyle to the minimum 36 years he was facing and said he needs counseling.

“In response to that sickness, do we take other individuals who are sick, other individuals who are unwell and just lock them up and throw away the key because we hope maybe it’ll make people feel better? Of course we don’t. We hope everybody gets well,” Bukalski said.

But Reynolds said Doyle’s actions were violent and she pointed to a prior domestic battery charge on his record. She also said typical cases of sexual assault of a child show the offender taking time to groom and compel the child to do what they want.

“The defendant didn’t even bother doing that (grooming) and instead he violently held this child down while she begged him to stop. He used his power, he used the size of his body in order to force her into things,” Reynolds said.

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Doyle spoke for about three minutes at the sentencing, apologizing several times, and said he wished he could say “how I got to where I’m at.”

“And I’m sorry to the community because the state is right. This isn’t something anybody in here should have to worry about. There shouldn’t be someone like me in the community the way I am right now,” Doyle said.

Doyle was originally charged with 19 felony counts for sexual assault of a child under the age of 13. Thirteen of the counts were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

Of the 13 charges dismissed were nine counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and one count of exploitation of a child by removing their clothes.


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Terrell Gage was arrested at 4:50 p.m. Friday, and on Saturday he was charged in McLean County court with four Class 1 felony counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, four Class 2 felony counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and one Class 3 felony count of unlawful possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver.

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