The McHenry County state’s attorney said a man accused of squeezing an officer’s genitals, who also referenced knowing how to dismember a woman’s body, was released from jail under the SAFE-T Act.
Nicholas M. Koczor, 38, of Woodstock, was released from the McHenry County Jail on Monday.
Koczor had been held in custody since October 8 after being charged with three counts of aggravated battery to a peace officer and two counts of phone harassment.
Prosecutors said Koczor called his ex-girlfriend and left a voicemail saying he was traveling to her home.
He implied that he knew how to harm and dismember her body, court documents said.
Police in Woodstock arrived to arrest Koczor and prosecutors say he struck one officer.
Koczor also allegedly bit an officer and grabbed the officer’s testicles.
Prosecutors said Koczor has an extensive criminal history with 15 arrests and two prior sentences in the Illinois Department of Corrections for drug offenses.
Koczor had been ordered to complete drug counseling services at least three prior times.
McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said Koczor has been held in custody since his arrest after being unable to post bond.
Koczor recently filed a petition for release after the Pretrial Fairness Act of the SAFE-T Act, which ends cash bail in Illinois, went into effect this month.
The aggravated battery charges are “non-detainable” under the new law but the phone harassment charges are “detainable” offenses.
Prosecutors argued Koczor should be held in the jail because of his threat involving great bodily harm toward the female victim.
A judge released Koczor after finding that placing him on pre-trial conditions could “mitigate” the threat he poses.
Koczor was ordered to have no contact with his ex-girlfriend, not use drugs or alcohol, submit to random substance use screenings and live in a sober living house.
Koczor is currently being held in custody due to a warrant out of another jurisdiction, jail records show.
The warrant appears to be for a driving under the influence case, which is a non-detainable offense, so Koczor will be released after he is processed on it.
Kenneally said the man’s release showcases the SAFE-T Act’s “failure” and that it is an “objectively bad law” that constituents do not want.
The state’s attorney called out Governor JB Pritzker for a post on X, formerly Twitter, where the governor earlier this week said the SAFE-T Act allows judges to “detain those who pose a threat to their communities.”
Kenneally also said a second defendant, who he believes is a danger to the community, was released last week.
That defendant, a 27-year-old man, was charged with possession of a look-alike substance with intent to deliver.
He was found with 30 counterfeit Alprazolam tablets and text messages show he arranged the sale of the counterfeit tablets.
The pills are believed to be Clonazolam, a new designer benzodiazepine not yet scheduled as an illegal drug in Illinois.
Kenneally said the drug has been involved in several overdose deaths in McHenry County.
The charges against the man, who is a convicted felon, are non-detainable and he was released from custody following his arrest.
The state’s attorney released a list of offenses Monday that are non-detainable.
“In other words, a defendant who is not charged with a detainable offense under section 6.1 cannot be held pretrial no matter how egregious the defendant’s criminal history or history of not complying with court orders might be, how convinced a judge may be that the defendant will reoffend if released, or how convinced a judge may be that the defendant is otherwise a danger to the community,” Kenneally said.