The lawyer for a Plainfield teen charged with sexually abusing a child is trying to get a hold of the boy's psychiatric records.
"I'm not making this request to embarrass or be insensitive to the alleged victim in this case in any way, shape or form," said Neil Patel, the attorney for 19-year-old Jason Minger.
Rather, Patel said during a Friday morning court hearing, "The state has indicated that the victim will testify," and the information may prove useful when questioning the boy while he is on the witness stand.
According to Patel and to court papers he filed, the boy was undergoing counseling when he told his mother Minger sexually abused him, but he had never mentioned it to the counselor.
After informing his mother, the boy also told a forensic interviewer from the Will County Child Advocacy Center that Minger victimized him. But the boy was asked leading questions by the interviewer, according to Patel's filing, and he repeatedly denied suffering one form of abuse he later claimed he was subjected to.
Patel also said the boy was twice admitted to an in-patient facility, once for a week and once for two weeks.
"I'm sure the in-patient treatment was related to mental health issues," Patel said.
The boy allegedly abused by Minger was 12 when he gave the victim-sensitive interview in May. The alleged abuse may have been committed nearly two years earlier, according to court papers.
Minger was arrested by Joliet police on charges of predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse soon after the victim-sensitive interview was conducted. He had allegedly abused the boy over the course of a year.
Minger has been locked up at the county jail since his arrest. He is being held on a $250,000 bond.
Patel said he wants to subpoena the allegedly abused boy's mother to find out where her son was treated. From there he intends to pursue records from the facilities and personnel who treated the boy.
Patel needs Will County Judge Sarah Jones to allow him to follow that course, but he considered it preferable to seeking the records in a different way.
"I did not want an investigator to show up at the house or ask questions that could be seen as harassing," Patel explained.
Judge Jones said she would review Patel's request and render a decision next month.