Jury determines sexual offender still dangerous

By Betty Simpson | bsimpson@wcia.com

Published 10/25 2013 03:29PM

Updated 10/25 2013 05:28PM

URBANA -- An inmate at the Big Muddy Correctional Center, in Ina, will have to wait two more years to request release. Friday, a panel of jurors found Mark Lee Hancock, 62, is still dangerous.

Hancock was originally deemed sexually dangerous in 2000 based on an offense in Champaign. Authorities say he broke into a home and told the resident he was there for sex. He was tied to a similar incident, also in Champaign, in 1996.

Officials say Hancock has convictions involving sexual crimes, including intent to rape and exposure to a child, dating back to 1976 in Maryland and Virginia.

Previous petitions for Hancock's release in 2005 and 2009 were also denied. Mental health experts testified, and evidence from the 2000 incident, were presented in court.

If Hancock files another petition, he must provide proof from a treatment provider he has made exceptional progress, otherwise he will remain in treatment indefinitely.

Ina is in Jefferson County, near Mount Vernon, south of Effingham.

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