McHenry County Court Releases “SAFE-T Act Failure” Defendant, But Jail Holds Him for Another Agency

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Nicholas M. Koczor, charged with Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer and Harassment by Telephone (SOURCE: McHenry County Sheriff's Office)
Nicholas M. Koczor, charged with Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer and Harassment by Telephone (SOURCE: McHenry County Sheriff’s Office).


Nicholas Koczor was released at 7:53 a.m. today from McHenry County Jail and transferred to Stephenson County Jail.

In a case provided as an example of failure of the SAFE-T Act, the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office explained Monday, September 25, 2023 that a male defendant that threatened bodily harm (a detainable offense) was released on a SAFE-T Act technicality. According to the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, defendant Nicholas M. Koczor was released by the court because of a decision that pretrial conditions can mitigate the threat posed by the defendant. However, according to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Correctional Division (9/26/2023 at 7:00 a.m.), Koczor is “currently confined” in McHenry County Jail while he may be on hold for another law enforcement agency. The other law agency was not specified. In 2022, Koczor was arrested for Aggravated DUI (625 ILCS 5.0/11-501-C) in Stephenson County west of Rockford.

According to the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, on September 25, 2023, the court released a 38-year-old man who had previously been in custody since October 8, 2022. The defendant, Nicholas M. Koczor, then age 36 on August 16, 2022, of Woodstock, was arrested on two counts of Harassment by Telephone and three counts of Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer. Koczor allegedly called his ex-girlfriend and left a voicemail indicating he was traveling to her home, and indicated he knew how to dismember a body.

When police arrived to arrest the defendant, he allegedly struck one officer and bit and grabbed the testicles of another. Nicholas M. Koczor has an extensive criminal history that includes 15 arrests and two prior stints in Illinois Department of Corrections in 2016 and 2013 for Delivery of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance, respectively. Koczor was arrested along with a woman in Lakemoor on the drug charges. As part of prior criminal sentences, Koczor had been ordered complete drug counseling services at least three prior times. Koczor is not currently listed on probation by the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Nicholas M. Koczor had been in custody since October, 2022, unable to post bond. However, under the SAFE-T Act, Koczor filed a petition for release. While the aggravated battery offenses were non-detainable, the State argued that the Defendant should be detained on the harassment charges because, being a felony offense involving the threat of great bodily harm, it was detainable. Under the SAFE-T Act, however, the court must release a defendant even on a detainable offense if a judge finds that pretrial release conditions “can mitigate” the threat posed by a defendant. In this case, the court released Koczor with the “mitigating” pretrial conditions that he not contact his ex-girlfriend, not use drugs or alcohol, submit to random urine drops, and live in a sober living house.

The Koczor case was presented by the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office in a Facebook post on Monday, September 25, 2023, as an example of a released defendant that causes concern regarding risk to the community.



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