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Crime & Courts

Double-rape suspect receives reprimand, posts $1K to be released

Brenton Cleveland violated terms of house arrest more than 20 times, records show

SYCAMORE – A cool grand and a reprimand later, Brenton Cleveland was released from jail Thursday afternoon after the double-rape suspect was reported to have made 22 stops not allowed by his ankle bracelet.

Cleveland, of the 34700 block of Glidden Road, has been free on $250,000 bond since June 2016. He faces charges of unlawful restraint, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault stemming from incidents involving two separate victims at his parents’ home on his 18th birthday, May 14, 2016, police have said.

“Mr. Cleveland, apparently you do not understand what home arrest means,” Chief Judge Robbin Stuckert said after setting Cleveland’s bond at $10,000. “It means you’re on arrest at your residence, and you are not to leave unless it’s authorized by the sheriff’s office. It doesn’t mean you go shopping at the mall, or go to a friend’s or assist anybody. Those people should look to somebody who’s not on home arrest to assist them.”

One of Cleveland's two lawyers, R. James Haule, immediately said the family would be post the $1,000 bail. All told, he has posted $27,000 so far.

Assistant State’s Attorney Alicia Caplan said she learned of the violations from one of the victims’ family members, who said they saw Cleveland out and about.

“It seems no matter what conditions the court puts on the defendant, he finds ways to violate orders in different ways,” Caplan argued.

When she asked that bond be set at $100,000, Cleveland's mother, Jennifer Cleveland, smiled while looking on from a court bench.

DeKalb Sheriff’s deputy Brad Sorenson, who oversees the office’s two-deputy electronic home monitoring division, attended the hearing; Stucker told him not to allow Brenton Cleveland to rack up so many violations again.

“Deputy Sorenson, I’m going to advise you that if he’s able to post the additional cash, if there are any additional violations, I receive them not after 22 or 23 of them,” Stuckert told him. “I know you usually give everybody the benefit of the doubt, but if there are any violations by Mr. Cleveland, one violation, I expect to be made aware of it.”

A motion to increase Cleveland's bond was filed Dec. 15. A home-monitoring report in court records shows that Cleveland went to the Cherryvale Mall and another business in the 7100 block of Vandiver Road in Rockford on Nov. 29, and that he made several unauthorized stops Dec. 8 and 9.

Cleveland’s other lawyer, Doug Johnson, said Cleveland was Christmas shopping for his mother, which he called a “boneheaded move.”

On Dec. 8, the report says Cleveland was at a home in the 200 block of Jackson Street in Genoa, a farm in the 19500 block of Hebron Road and a gas station in Harvard, two more Genoa homes, in the 100 block of South Genoa Street – multiple times – and the 300 block of First Street, and Vapor Physics at 121 W. Main St. in Genoa.

Johnson said one of the stops was to pick up a friend who needed seizure medication, and another was to give his brother a lift.

On Dec. 9, the report says he visited the two Genoa residences again, as well as Resource Bank in the 300 block of Sycamore Road in Genoa and a residence in the 800 block of Stone Creek Circle in Genoa – a residence he visited again Dec. 11.

Cleveland's lawyers won a motion to have the two alleged rapes tried separately. His first trial is set to start at 10 a.m. April 4.

Cleveland is due back in court Jan. 16 for a status hearing. He’s been out on bail since June 2016, when he posted $25,000. He’s also posted $1,000 on a reckless driving charge, and is wearing two bracelets – one from after he was sentenced to 18 months of court supervision and fined $325 after being convicted of underage possession of alcohol Feb. 13. Genoa police said they found Cleveland with a 12-pack and a case of Bud Light at Liquor 'n' Wine in Genoa, according to court records.

Cleveland was fitted with an electronic home monitoring bracelet when the state won a motion to increase his bond July 26 after the reckless driving charge was filed.

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