Ex-McLean County prosecutor claims colleague sexually harassed him

The sexual harassment lawsuit was filed in Peoria federal court. (Photo by Neil Doyle/WJBC)


By Howard Packowitz

BLOOMINGTON – A former McLean County Assistant State’s Attorney, who used to try sexual assault cases, is accused in a federal lawsuit of repeated sexual harassment against a co-worker.

William Layne Roberts, who has his own legal troubles in a separate case, is asking for unspecified damages from Kristin Alferink, who at one time led the McLean County Sexual Assault Task Force.

Former State’s Attorney Jason Chambers, who’s now a judge, and current State’s Attorney Don Knapp are also named as defendants, along with McLean County government.

The lawsuit stated that Alferink’s campaign of harassment and retaliation started in December 2016 and escalated in frequency and severity over the next year.

Alferink allegedly had closed-door meetings to be alone with Roberts, grabbed him, and tried to kiss him when he tried to leave. Both were married at the time, according to the lawsuit.

Instead of taking action against Alferink, Roberts claimed Chambers retaliated by firing him in November 2017 for “pretextual” reasons.

Knapp fired Alferink last year for undisclosed reasons. She’s now a prosecutor in Champaign County.

Alferink did not respond to a request for comment. Chambers said he would “love to comment” on the case, but Illinois Supreme Court rules prohibit him from doing so. Knapp said it would be irresponsible for him to publicly discuss pending litigation.

In a separate case, Roberts awaits disciplinary action from the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

Records indicate Roberts worked as a prosecutor here even though he wasn’t licensed at the time to practice law.

The state removed him the registry of licensed attorneys because he failed to complete continuing legal education requirements and did not pay a $250 late fee for missing the deadline.

Howard Packowitz can be reached at howard.packowitz@cumulus.com


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