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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

DuPage County's Berlin on conviction: "Domestic abuse has no place in a civilized society"

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An Aurora man charged with beating his pregnant girlfriend was sentenced to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin announced in a release posted on his office's Facebook page this week.

Alexander Authement, 29, was found guilty of four counts of Aggravated Battery - Pregnant Victim (a Class 3 felony) and four counts of Domestic Battery (a Class 4 felony). Authement has been held in the DuPage County Jail since his arrest and through his sentencing.

At approximately 12:30 a.m. on March 23, Authement and his girlfriend, who was six months pregnant at the time, were in a verbal altercation, the post said. The argument turned physical when Authement punched his girlfriend in the face, pushed her to the ground and began kicking her. Other family members who were present at the time had to physically pull Authement off of his girlfriend to stop the assault. Authement fled the scene but was taken into custody by the Aurora Police Department several hours later. The baby was unharmed.

“Domestic abuse has no place in a civilized society,” Berlin said in the post. “Unfortunately, we continue to see violent attacks such as this across the country. In DuPage County, however, we have no tolerance for this type of violent behavior and will use every tool available to protect victims of domestic violence and hold their attackers responsible. I thank the Aurora Police Department for their efforts on this upsetting case. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Kathleen Rowe and Adam Frahm for their work in securing a guilty verdict against the defendant.”

Berlin is one of many Illinois State's attorneys who have called for a revision to the Pretrial Fairness Act, a provision of the SAFE-T Act set to take effect on January 1.

In a September guest column written for the Daily Herald (quoted on his website), Berlin said that instead of allowing judges to use their discretion to determine whether a defendant should be detained pre-trial, the Pretrial Fairness Act "strips judges of their responsibility to both the defendant and the public by disallowing a judge from considering each case on its own merits and applying the law accordingly. Under the new Safe-T-Act, entire categories of crime, such as aggravated batteries, robberies, burglaries, hate crimes, aggravated DUIs, drug-induced homicides, and all drug offenses, including delivery of fentanyl and trafficking cases, are not eligible for detention regardless of the severity of the crime or a person's risk to a specific person or the community unless prosecutors prove by clear and convincing evidence the person has a 'high likelihood of willful flight to avoid prosecution.'"

Berlin also added that a prior failure to appear in court is not enough evidence to decisively determine if someone has a "high likelihood of willful flight."

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