CHICAGO, SEPT. 4 -- Gary Dotson, who spent six years behind bars before the woman who had accused him of rape recanted her testimony, today was ordered back to prison for at least eight months for violating terms of his parole.
Gov. James R. Thompson (R) commuted Dotson's 25- to 50-year sentence in 1985 after Cathleen Crowell Webb said she had made up her rape story. Thompson said at the time he did not believe that Dotson was innocent but that he had served enough time.
Thompson also ordered a three-year parole for Dotson.
The Illinois Prisoner Review Board revoked that parole today in light of Dotson's five arrests, including one for alleged wife-beating, since his release, board spokesman Kent Steinkamp said.
The board's ruling means that Dotson will be imprisoned for at least the rest of the parole period.
But Thompson could revoke the commutation and order Dotson to serve the remainder of the rape sentence, said Terry Barnich, the governor's chief legal counsel. "We have to get formally notified by the board of the revocation," Barnich said. "I expect they'll send the paper work next week, and . . . he'll make a decision shortly after that."
Steinkamp said Dotson would be turned over immediately to the state Department of Corrections for imprisonment.
Dotson's attorney, Thomas Breen, could not be reached for comment.
Dotson, 30, has been in Cook County Jail on a "parole hold" order since Aug. 2, when his wife, Camille, told police that he struck her after he had been drinking and threatened to harm their young daughter. The misdemeanor battery charge was dropped Aug. 27 after Camille Dotson refused to testify against her husband.
Steinkamp said the board questioned Dotson about the battery incident and arrests on traffic violations, including one that led to a drunk-driving conviction in January.
Dotson "has failed to obey all municipal and state ordinances and statutes," Steinkamp said.