A state appellate court has upheld the conviction of a west suburban man found guilty of kidnapping and sexually abusing multiple children in 2015.
The Second District Appellate Court of Illinois affirmed 38-year-old Giuseppe Ressa’s convictions last week on five counts of child abduction and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to a statement from the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.
“I would like to thank the Appellate Court for their extremely thorough and detailed analysis of Mr. Ressa’s claims,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin said in the statement. “In its judgment, the Appellate Court saw through Mr. Ressa’s attempt to avoid responsibility for his actions.”
Ressa, who formerly lived in West Chicago, was found guilty of the charges after a two-day bench trial in March of 2017, prosecutors said. Judge Robert Miller sentenced him to 20 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Prosecutors said Ressa approached a pair of siblings, a 5-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl, at a Lisle playground on March 27, 2015. He offered the boy toys to go to a vehicle with him and carried the girl to a slide, where he physically restrained her until an older sibling came out and called the children inside an apartment building for dinner.
The children’s parents called Lisle police, who identified Ressa as a suspect, the state’s attorney’s office said. Detectives conducting surveillance saw him talking to three other children on June 1, 2015, in front of an apartment building in Lisle.
The detectives saw him luring a boy and a girl between 4 and 7 years old with candy while another girl ran into the building to tell her parents what was happening, prosecutors said. Police arrested Ressa after he rubbed a girl’s leg in the entranceway of a building.
Ressa wrote in his appeal that his trial attorney was “ineffective for failing to pursue an insanity defense,” according to the appellate court’s opinion on the case, which was filed Friday. He also argued that the court abused its discretion in admitting certain pieces of evidence and sentencing him to 20 years.
The appellate court ruled against his appeal on all counts and upheld the ruling and sentence of the DuPage County Circuit Court.
Ressa remains incarcerated at the downstate Jacksonville Correctional Center, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records. He will not be eligible for parole until 2025.
He is registered as a sexual predator on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry.