4 guards at St. Charles juvenile facility accused of encouraging detainees to attack each other

(Left-right) Elliott J. Short, Andre L. McFarland, Michael M. Klimek and Johan O. Asiata (Kane County State's Attorney's Office)

Four guards at Illinois Youth Center-St. Charles were charged with misconduct and other offenses, accused of encouraging juvenile detainees to attack other detainees as a form of discipline, the Kane County State's Attorney's Office announced Monday.

Johan O. Asiata, 30, of Channahon; Michael M. Klimek, 40, of Yorkville; Andre L. McFarland, 31, of Rockford; and Elliott J. Short, 34, of St. Charles, were indicted on multiple counts on Nov. 22 by a grand jury. An arrest warrant for each was issued immediately.

In a statement, Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon alleges that the guards, led by Klimek, encouraged certain juvenile residents to physically attack other juvenile residents, facilitated the attacks and stood idly by during the attacks. The offenses took place in January 2016 at the facility.

According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, all were employed as juvenile justice specialists at the time of the alleged offenses.

Asiata was charged with five counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated battery and one count of unlawful restraint. He was taken into custody on Nov. 23 and posted $5,000 bond to be released the next day from the Kane County jail. His initial court appearance is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 8 in Courtroom 217 at the Kane County Judicial Center.

Klimek was charged with 53 counts of official misconduct, 18 counts of aggravated battery, three counts of unlawful restraint, one count of mob action and one count of theft. He was taken into custody Nov. 22 and posted $7,500 bond and released the next day.. His initial court appearance is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 5 in Courtroom 217 at the Kane County Judicial Center.

McFarland was charged with eight counts of official misconduct and one count of aggravated battery. He was taken into custody Nov. 22 and posted $3,000 bond to be released Nov. 26. His initial court appearance is set for 9 a.m. Nov. 30 in Courtroom 217 at the Kane County Judicial Center.

Short was charged with four counts of official misconduct and two counts of aggravated battery. He was taken into custody Nov. 22 and posted $5,000 bond to be released the next day. His initial court appearance is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 7 in Courtroom 217 at the Kane County Judicial Center.

All incidents are alleged to have taken place Jan. 9, Jan. 10, Jan. 11, Jan. 12, Jan. 13 and Jan. 28. The charges allege 10 victims, authorities said.

The allegations were reported to the Illinois Department of Corrections in late January 2016. IDOC asked the Illinois State Police to handle the investigation, and the defendants then were placed on paid administrative leave.

In a statement, the Department of Juvenile Justice said it "has cooperated with our state partners, in accordance with Department policy and protocol, to investigate allegations that appeared to put youth safety at risk. Per policy guidelines, as soon as IDJJ was notified of the allegations, the Department put the staff involved on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. These indictments are the culmination of that investigation, and the Department will continue to cooperate with state partners to address any structural problems identified during this process."

If convicted of the most serious offense, each of the defendants faces a sentence of probation or between two and five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
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