66 years in prison in attack on child, injury of mother and dog
Charge: Attempted murder, predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated animal cruelty
Daniel Happ, 29, of the 1600 block of Seminole Drive, had pleaded guilty but mentally ill in August to attempted murder, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated cruelty to animals for the attack, during which he stabbed the family dog.
The attack took place on the evening of March 6, 2012, at the home of a friend of Happ’s in Carpentersville where Happ had been invited to spend the night.
Happ’s friend had left the home to go to work, leaving Happ there with the man’s girlfriend and the man’s four children. During the night, Happ stabbed the dog and the went to the woman’s bedroom where he struck her repeatedly in the head with a claw hammer, authorities have said.
After showering, Happ then went to the room of one of the children, an 8-year-old girl, and sexually assaulted her. Before attacking the child, Happ led her into the woman’s bedroom and told the child that unless she remained silent, her siblings would suffer the same fate as the beaten woman, Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Greg Sams told Judge Clint Hull.
In his closing argument, Sams held up a framed photo of the child recovered from the woman’s bedroom. It was spattered with the woman’s blood.
“This is the perfect exhibit of a cruel, cruel crime,” said Sams, who asked for a sentence of 82 years.
Assistant Public Defender Eun Yoon asked the judge to sentence Happ to a more lenient term and cited his record of two dozen hospitalizations for mental health issues. She also noted that Happ himself called 911 to report the attack and then cooperated with police.
Happ apologized to the victims and asked for their forgiveness, though he said he did not deserve it. The woman he attacked required two weeks’ stay in a hospital before she was transferred to a rehabilitation facility. She still suffers after-effects from the beating, Sams said.
Hull ordered Happ to serve 45 years for the sex assault and a consecutive 20-year term for attempted murder. The judge added a one-year term for the attack on the dog, which survived.