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home : news : news   May 25, 2016

2/15/2013 5:31:00 AM
Diagnosed kleptomaniac gets 6 years in prison

OTTAWA — A diagnosed kleptomaniac was sentenced Thursday to 6 years in prison after violating her last-chance probation.

Lisa M. Gonzalez, 51, of 312 California Ave., Oglesby, when offered a chance to address her sentencing judge, said she has a clinically-diagnosed disorder and that it was only a run of personal tragedies that triggered her stealing $30.35 in merchandise on Oct. 2 from Dollar General in Oglesby.

Gonzalez tearfully apologized for the theft and said she accepted full responsibility for her actions.

“It’s not a choice that I choose to do,” she said. “It’s a disease that I have.”

At the time of the Oct. 2 theft, Gonzalez was serving 2½ years’ probation, along with a prohibition against entering a retail store unless accompanied by another adult. She narrowly avoided 4½ years in prison last time by persuading the judge it was a reduction in medication (her insurers had refused to fund the full dosage) that prompted her to steal.

Ten months later, Gonzalez was caught red-handed at Dollar General — and without an adult companion.

“I must have been talking to a wall the last time I gave you probation,” Judge Cynthia M. Raccuglia said Thursday. “I knew that if I was wrong (for handing down probation), you’d prove me wrong. And you did.”

Ottawa defense attorney Ryan Hamer did not ask for the extension of probation or a short jail sentence, but only asked Raccuglia to consider Gonzalez’ irrational behavior in light of her mental diagnosis.

“She’s able to be a law-abiding person,” Hamer said. “Obviously, she needs to be very careful and has to follow her doctor’s orders to a T.”

Assistant La Salle County state’s attorney Matt Kidder asked for, and got, the maximum 6-year sentence. He cited Gonzalez’s multiple priors for retail theft and labeling her “a walking, talking excuse.”

“Her criminal record is as bad as it comes and she’s a chronic thief,” he said. “That’s what she does.”

With about seven months’ credit for time served, Gonzalez could be released in 2015.

Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013
Article comment by: METALWORKER

Wow! That is our court system for you. A women steals under $40.00 and goes to jail for 6 years.
A bank official steals tens of millions and walks free.
A man shoots some one cause he think he is shooting a skunk and gets 60 days.
All guilty, all went to trial, which was the worst crime?
I Have my opinion, what is yours?
And by the way, who was the judge/ Not rellavent to the story? Perhaps, but I would like to know, would not you? I know trials and sentancing are open and I could have gone and then I would know. Right?

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