Ex-Markham cop admits lying to FBI about sex at police station
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter September 5, 2013 1:39PM
Tony D. DeBois, 41, of Matteson, Ill., departs from the Everett M. Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in Chicago, Ill., after a court appearance on Thursday, March 7, 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 7, 2013 1:10PM
Everyone agrees Markham’s former deputy police chief Tony DeBois liked to have sex inside his police station.
Everyone agrees that one of the women he had sex with there was his fiance.
And everyone agrees that he lied when he told the FBI she was the only woman he had sex with at work.
After that, things get a little complicated.
A highly unusual plea deal reached Thursday between DeBois and prosecutors in federal court left unresolved who a second woman DeBois now admits he had sex with in his south suburban office was, whether the sex was consensual, and why DeBois lied about it.
A shame-faced DeBois — who pleaded guilty Thursday to obstructing justice by lying to the FBI in an interview last year — says the second woman was a girlfriend he cheated on his fiance with, and that he lied about it to save his relationship.
But prosecutors say the second woman was a prisoner who DeBois coerced into sex during a September 2010 investigation.
Both women are now expected to take the stand in January to offer their competing claims as to who really had sex with DeBois at what’s likely to be an incendiary sentencing hearing.
DeBois, who once allegedly compared himself to the corrupt cop played by Denzel Washington in “Training Day,” spoke during Thursday’s hearing only to indicate that he understood his rights and that he was pleading guilty.
“I lied, your honor, in an interview with the FBI,” he told Judge Joan Lefkow, declining to comment and wearing sunglasses as he left the courthouse with his former fiance, whom he has since married.
His attorney, Terry Ekl, said the plea deal caps DeBois’s maximum possible sentence at five years behind bars and showed how “weak” the government’s original case was.
Had prosecutors convicted DeBois of the prisoner rape they originally charged him with he’d have faced up to 30 years.
But Ekl said he’d push for probation at a sentencing hearing that will now effectively function as a mini-trial of the original case. The woman who alleged the rape was a “stone cold liar and perjurer” who he would show lied to a grand jury about DeBois, Ekl said.
He said a series of lawsuits against DeBois, which were previously settled by his former employers in Markham and Harvey or their insurers, made untrue allegations of excessive force against DeBois, who he called an “aggressive...excellent officer.”
Ekl described the workplace sex as “bad judgment,” but added, “Was it a heinous federal crime? Absolutely not!”