Ford Co. man sentenced for sexual assault, domestic battery

PAXTON, Ill. (WCIA) — A Ford County man will spend at least 12 years in prison after he was found guilty in January of multiple crimes related to domestic violence, including sexual assault.

Arthuro L. Crawford, 52 and formerly of Maywood, was sentenced on Tuesday on the four counts he was convicted of: two of aggravated domestic battery and one count each of criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint. A jury found that between Sept. 2 and 4, 2022, Crawford sexually assaulted his girlfriend and committed several acts of violence against her over the next few days. She was later able to escape and found help from a neighbor.

The victim suffered a shattered nose and a broken eye socket, both of which required surgery to rebuild or repair, and several other injuries.

“We cannot never make his victim/survivor whole with a sentence here today, but we can make sure that, for as long as he is incarcerated, he will not harm anyone else,” said Ford County State’s Attorney Andrew Killian.

At sentencing, Killian argued for the maximum sentence for criminal sexual assault. He pointed to the testimony of two prior victims of Crawford’s, indicating that there was a clear pattern of behavior. Crawford, Killian said, would start out as a “perfect boyfriend” and morph into a chronic abuser who “left his victims with permanent injuries and scars while moving on to his next target.”

The hearing was interrupted multiple times by Crawford when he talked over witnesses and Judge Matthew Fitton, behavior he continued from his trial. Fitton warned Crawford repeatedly that he would be removed from the courtroom if he continued. Crawford didn’t stop and Fitton carried through on his warnings.

The victim also gave an emotional victim impact statement at the hearing, telling Fitton that she will have to serve a life sentence as a result of Crawford’s actions and his threats. Those threats included being gang-raped and killed along with harm against her parents.

“While he can no longer touch me physically, his words and blows haunt my every day,” she said.

Crawford ultimately received the maximum sentence of 15 years for sexual assault, which he must serve at least 85% of. He was also sentenced to a concurrent seven years for each count of domestic battery and six years, also concurrent, for unlawful restraint.

In addition to these charges, Crawford is also facing charges related to his efforts, while in the Ford County Jail, to communicate threats to the victim through a third party, a violation of an order of protection and bond restraints. The trial for those charges is scheduled for April.

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