ROCKFORD, Ill. — The attorney of former Racine County Register of Deeds and former Burlington Town Supervisor Tyson Fettes — who is facing charges after a sex-trafficking operation was uncovered in Rockford, Ill. — said he is requesting additional evidence in the case.
Attorney Elder Granger said Wednesday that Tuesday’s court date for Fettes was “in-and-out,” but that he asked for additional police reports and video evidence that lead to charges being filed against 33-year-old Fettes of Burlington.
Between March 9 and May 29, Rockford police investigated two lingerie shops in that city, Chantilly Lace, 106 Seventh St., and Exclusive Lingerie Boutique, 77 Seventh St., Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross said during a news conference on Aug. 20.
The investigation resulted in the arrest of the owner of Chantilly Lace, 57-year-old Peggy D. Smith, who is charged with 12 counts of promoting a place of prostitution.
During the news conference, Hite Ross read the names and birth dates of 27 men, including Fettes, who are facing charges for soliciting and patronizing prostitutes stemming from two alleged separate encounters with different prostitutes between March 9 and May 23.
Granger had previously said that the indictments were based on vehicles that were parked in parking lots at or near the two establishments.
Fettes and the other 27 allegedly involved individuals were formally indicted in Winnebago County (Ill.) Circuit Court on Aug. 28.
Fettes is charged with two Class 4 felony counts of patronizing a prostitute and two Class A misdemeanor counts of soliciting a sexual act. As part of the indictment, Fettes was charged with an additional Class 4 felony — entering a place of prostitution with the intent to solicit a sex act.
In Illinois, Class 4 felonies are punishable with up to one to three years in prison and the maximum sentence for a Class A misdemeanors is up to one year in jail.
Fettes is next scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 3, Granger said. Smith is also scheduled to appear on that date.
Resignation after charges
After the news broke of Fettes’ arrest, Fettes resigned from the Town of Burlington Board during a meeting on Sept. 12.
“It came as a surprise,” Town Board Chairperson Ralph Rice said after Fettes’ resignation. “I was handed (the letter) just prior to the meeting last night.”
In the letter addressed to Rice, Fettes said:
“In the end, I am confident I won’t be convicted of the charges against me. However, I do not want to be a distraction to the Board and the good work they are doing for the community. Therefore, I am resigning my position effective immediately.
Having been a member of the Board for over 12 years, I am deeply grateful for having had the opportunity to serve this extraordinary community. My family and I are excited to begin a new chapter of our lives as private citizens.”
Fettes resigned from the register of deeds post in April to become market president at the Community State Bank branch in Burlington. Fettes’ employment with the bank came to an end shortly after his arrest.