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Gary Dotson Back Behind Bars

December 28, 1987

CHICAGO (AP) _ Convicted rapist Gary Dotson, who repeatedly ran afoul of the law following his release from prison, begged Gov. James R. Thompson for another chance on finding himself behind bars again, a newspaper reported today.

″Please, for the love of my daughter and my family, let me get the (alcoholism) treatment I need,″ Dotson, 30, wrote from a jail cell in suburban Calumet City, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

″I am so afraid it all may end,″ he wrote Thompson. ″Talk to me if you are going to condemn me.″

Dotson was arrested at a Calumet City bar Saturday night on charges he stabbed a cook in the hand, authorities said. Police said he had been drinking and didn’t want to pay for a sandwich.

Before the arrest, Dotson’s wife told him she wanted a divorce, his attorney, Thomas Breen, said Sunday.

″He just couldn’t handle it,″ said his sister, Laura Dotson of suburban Country Club Hills.

Cook County Associate Judge Martin McDonough ordered Dotson held without bond Sunday at the request of the state Department of Corrections until it could be determined whether he had violated his parole. Arraignment on battery and disorderly conduct charges was set for Feb. 2.

In 1985, Thompson commuted Dotson’s 25- to 50-year rape sentence to the six years served after his alleged victim, Cathleen Crowell Webb, recanted her testimony.

Dotson landed back in jail in September on a parole violation following five arrests, including for drunken driving, allegedly striking his wife and allegedly threatening to kill their daughter.

Last week, Thompson offered him a ″last-chance″ deal of a three-year parole combined with alcoholism treatment, along with a warning that another tangle with the law would land Dotson back in jail.

Dotson had been drinking before Saturday’s arrest, police said.

The Sun-Times said it obtained the letter from Civia Tamarkin, co-author of a magazine story on Dotson, who said she visited Dotson in the jail Saturday and found him in a suicidal mood.

″He kept saying this is it, he’s going to end it all,″ she said.

″You can’t imagine what I am going through, and I don’t want to hurt anymore,″ Dotson’s letter said. ″I drink because I am an alcoholic, and I’m sorry.″

He ended the letter by telling his wife and daughter: ″Camille and Ashley, I love you.″

If the Illinois Prisoner Review Board determines that Dotson violated parole, he could be put in prison until October 2003, according to Terry Barnich, legal counsel to Thompson.

Barnich said Dotson could also be released as early as October 1988.

Regardless, the matter is out of the governor’s hands and in the parole board’s, Barnich said.

″I don’t think there is a parole violation,″ said Breen. ″A trial on this case will show everyone the problems he’s having because he is who he is.

″Had he not been Gary Dotson, I don’t think this would have happened,″ the attorney said. ″Things got out of hand and Gary tried to back off, but Gary was not allowed to back off.″

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