McHenry County sheriff's deputy had sexual contact with the fiancee of a defendant in a drug case the officer investigated, according to an attorney for the defendant.
The allegations come against onetime Detective Jason Novak in the case of a
Crystal Lake man who is charged with possession and manufacture or delivery of
In response to a question about the allegations, Sheriff Keith Nygren
confirmed that Novak was suspended for 10 days and transferred from detective
back to patrol, though he did not specify why. Novak could not be reached for
Court documents filed by the defendant's attorney, Hal Stinespring, gave the
In March 2011, the defendant's fiancee, whom he lived with, contacted the
McHenry County Sheriff's Department seeking to have unspecified items
confiscated from the home.
Novak, who worked in the narcotics division, told the fiancee that if she
cooperated with the confiscation, no charges would be filed, the defense motion
At Novak's request, the woman met with him in person at the Sheriff's
Department. After that, using his department-issued cellphone, Novak continued
to contact the woman, sometimes with text messages of a sexual nature, according
to the documents.
On April 28, 2011, McHenry County deputies, including Novak, arrived at the
home, and the fiancee signed a consent form to allow them to search the
residence. She also was coached on what to say in a written statement, while
Novak, whom she called "Slick," questioned her, the defense alleged.
The next day, the woman's fiance was arrested, and as she waited outside jail
for him to be released, the documents stated, Novak initiated an exchange of
nearly 50 text messages, which became increasingly sexual in nature.
At the officer's request, the woman called him on his police-issued phone,
and he gave her directions to his home, the defense alleged. When she arrived
there, hours later, she performed a sex act on him, and some of his semen
remained on the fiancee's dress, the documents stated. After that, Novak
allegedly kept contacting the woman seeking sex.
Stinespring maintained the search and seizure in the case was illegal because
it was obtained by deceiving the fiancee. He requested a copy of the sheriff's
internal investigation of Novak this summer after his client brought it up. He
said the allegations were based on what the fiancee told his client, and that
she was interviewed by sheriff's investigators and gave them the dress.
"I think it's definitely misconduct," Stinespring said.
The woman's fiance was charged with having more than 100 pills of various
prescription drugs, including narcotics like the painkiller oxycodone and the
anti-anxiety drug Xanax, without prescriptions, Assistant State's Attorney
Michael Combs said. The most serious charge is a Class X felony punishable by
six to 30 years in prison.
The defendant also was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm on
allegations he had a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun. Combs said the defendant was
prohibited from owning a firearm because of a 1992 felony conviction for dealing
cocaine in Kentucky.
Combs, chief of the criminal division, argued against letting the defense see
Novak's personnel file or the results of the internal investigation of the
matter, saying they were irrelevant to the charges against the defendant. Judge
Sharon Prather said she would review the documents in question and scheduled a
ruling for Oct. 18.
While Novak might have violated the sheriff's rules, Combs said he did not
believe a crime was committed because the allegation involved consensual sex
between adults and did not affect how the case was handled.