UPDATE:

Group of Cleveland Browns players protest, and refuse to stand during national anthem

Murderer pleads to unlawful contact with minor

Puccio faces additional jail time in unrelated Champaign County case.


Matthew Puccio, already serving 42 years in prison for murdering his girlfriend last year, pleaded guilty Wednesday to new charges that he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl.

Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi said Puccio, 27, pleaded guilty to a single count of unlawful sexual contact with a minor, a third-degree felony. A single count of importuning was dropped as part of the plea agreement. Puccio is scheduled to face a sentencing hearing at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday.

He is now being held at the London Correctional Institution after he admitted to murdering and dismembering Jessica Rae Sacco at their apartment on West Light Street last year. Four other individuals were also convicted for their roles in helping Puccio cover up the crime before Sacco’s body was discovered.

The new charge stems from an incident that occurred before the murder took place. According to his indictment, Puccio was accused of having sexual contact with a teenager between Feb. 6 and Feb. 14, last year. Sacco was murdered in March, and authorities have said the two cases are unrelated.

Talebi said Puccio could serve as much as five additional years for the new charge. In addition, Puccio will be classified as a sex offender.

Information from the Urbana Police Division showed the juvenile ran away from home and stayed with Puccio in the West Light Street apartment. The teen was eventually taken back to Texas, and at the time, Puccio was convicted on a charge of interference with custody.

But in December last year, the teen told investigators in Texas that Puccio had raped her while she was living in the apartment.

Authorities have said a conviction on the new charges likely could mean Puccio would serve additional time in prison.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

USS John S. McCain collision: Damage being assessed as investigation continues
USS John S. McCain collision: Damage being assessed as investigation continues

The United States Navy said it will continue to investigate the collision involving the USS John S. McCain as the vessel’s damage is being assessed. As that happens, the U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs said in a news post that search efforts are continuing for the 10 soldiers who are still missing. Five sailors are injured. “Search and...
What is Trump’s plan for Afghanistan?
What is Trump’s plan for Afghanistan?

President Donald Trump spoke to the nation from Fort Myer on Monday night. “I am here tonight to lay out our path forward in Afghanistan and South Asia,” he said.  The United States “must seek an honorable and enduring outcome” worthy of the sacrifices that have been made. The consequences of a rapid exit are “both...
Donald Trump’s plan in Afghanistan: Transcript from his speech 
Donald Trump’s plan in Afghanistan: Transcript from his speech 

On Monday, President Donald Trump gave a speech in which he discussed U.S. policy in Afghanistan The remarks indicate that the 16-year war, the longest conflict in American history, may continue for some time, as Trump declined to give a specific timeline of when troops will pull out and would not discuss troop numbers. Read a full transcript...
Watch the International Space Station fly across the solar eclipse
Watch the International Space Station fly across the solar eclipse

A NASA photographer managed to capture the moment that the International Space Station moved across the solar eclipse Monday in a series of rare high-speed photos. Space agency photo editor Joel Kowsky used a high-speed camera from a vantage point in Banner, Wyoming to shoot the eclipse at the exact moment the ISS flew in front of it 250 miles above...
Humorous warning to protect horses during eclipse goes viral
Humorous warning to protect horses during eclipse goes viral

An animal rescue organization in Florida had a humorous solution for protecting horses during Monday’s solar eclipse, and it has gotten plenty of support online. Heartland Rescue Ranch of Panama City shared a photo of a horse with a bra strapped around its face, covering its eyes, KDVR reported. The original Facebook post has been shared...
More Stories