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Batavia teen charged with possessing explosives appears in juvenile court

Judge orders psychological evaluation, cheek swab

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – The Batavia High School teen who was charged with possession of explosives made his first court appearance today at the Kane County Juvenile Justice Center.

A thin boy of medium height with short brown hair and glasses, he wore a dull green T-shirt over a long-sleeved gray T-shirt, dark pants with white socks in detention-issued beige sandals.

The boy stood before Kane County Judge Clint Hull, flanked by a security guard and his attorney, Gary Johnson.

His parents stood behind him as attorneys discussed issues related to his arrest on Nov. 29.

While juvenile court proceedings are open to the media, the name of the juvenile is not allowed to be made public, officials said.

Hull asked the boy how he was doing.

“I’m doing all right,” the boy replied.

He told Hull he understood the policies and procedures in juvenile detention and was proceeding with his schooling while there.

Johnson did not object to a request by Assistant State’s Attorney Bridget Sabbia for the boy to have a psychological evaluation by the Kane County Diagnostic Center.

Hull told the boy that any information he provides in that psychological evaluation cannot be used against him court.

Hull also ordered a cheek swab from the youth, an investigation of his electronic and social media presence, for him to be fingerprinted and to have Batavia School District 101 Superintendent Lisa Hichens or her designee present in court as the case continues.

In other issues, Hull said the court received a call from the German Consulate regarding the boy’s arrest, because as a foreign national, he has the right to have consulate representatives.

“That’s the criminal code, not the Juvenile Court Act,” Hull said.

Assistant State’s Attorney Michelle Katz said because the boy has dual citizenship, that regulation does not apply.

In any case, Johnson said they did not seek additional representation from the German Consulate.

Hull set the boy’s next court appearance for Jan. 8.

Hull, who recently became chief judge, was sitting in for Judge Sandra Parga, who usually hears juvenile cases.

But because Parga used to be a defense attorney at Johnson’s law firm, she cannot preside over the current case because it presents a conflict.

Hull said he would reassign the case to Judge Kathryn Karayannis, but he would sit in if she had a scheduling conflict.

The boy was charged in connection with an investigation by the Batavia Police Department, the Kane County Bomb Squad, the Kane County Major Crimes Task Force, the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspectors, officials had said.

According to a news release from Batavia police, the FBI had notified them that it received a tip from a third party that someone in Batavia had purchased materials that when mixed together could be used in the creation of explosives.

On Nov. 26, Batavia police assisted the FBI in a search of the student’s home in the 1100 block of Davey Drive and located various amounts of explosive ingredients and containers to encase such ingredients, according to the release.

During the search, a mixture of explosive materials was located. Because of the highly volatile nature of the mixture, it was subsequently destroyed by conducting a controlled detonation where it was found, the release stated.

Residents of the immediate area in the neighborhood were made aware of the event but at no time were at risk, according to the release.

Additionally, out of an abundance of caution, bomb sniffing dogs searched Batavia High School, but no evidence of explosives or explosive components were found on school property, the release stated.

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