Priest sentenced to 18 years in prison for sexual assault resident of Kankakee development center

Richard Jacklin, a Roman Catholic priest, was sentenced to 18 years in prison last month in Kankakee County Court after a jury convicted him of sexually assaulting a disabled resident at a development center in 2017.

On Jan. 26, Kankakee County Circuit Judge Kathy Bradshaw-Elliott sentenced Jacklin, 71, to nearly two decades in the Illinois Department of Corrections. She must serve 85% of her sentence. Upon her release from prison, she will be on probation for three years to life. Jacklin must also register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

Jacklin was arrested by the Illinois State Police on October 31, 2017, after allegations that he sexually assaulted a resident of the Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee. Prosecutors said a nurse came across Jacklin performing a sexual act on a 39-year-old man who had been a patient of the center since 2010, was paralyzed and had an intellectual disability. Jacklin was visiting downtown to minister to its residents.

In September 2022, a jury trial found Jacklin guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a disabled person, criminal sexual assault with force, and sexual misconduct of a person with a disability.

According to the Diocese of Joliet, Jacklin was ordained a priest in 1984. He had been assigned to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Goodrich since 2005, where he served until his arrest, according to Tribune records.

The Joliet Diocese is also facing a lawsuit in relation to the alleged abuse. The lawsuit, filed in October 2019, accuses the diocese of failing to properly investigate Jacklin and failing to protect people with disabilities from the priest.

The civil lawsuit was filed by attorneys from the Illinois Office of State Guardian on behalf of the man, who is a ward of the state. Named as defendants are the diocese, Jacklin and former bishop Daniel Conlon. The plaintiffs asked a court to award more than $50,000 and court costs.

Jacklin was one of two retired priests accused of sexual misconduct who sparked controversy in 2018 because they lived in a Naperville retirement facility, St. John Vianney Villa, across a fence from Kennedy Junior High School in Lisle, according to the Naperville Sun.

Naperville School District 203 and the Naperville and Lisle Police Departments urged the diocese to relocate both priests elsewhere. The diocese did so but did not disclose where the priests were transferred.

Madeline Buckley of the Chicago Tribune contributed.

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