Purvis going to prison for Illinois assault

Published 7:08 pm Friday, March 16, 2018

A Vicksburg man arrested in August on charges of sexual assault, unlawful restraint and aggravated battery involving an incident at the Walmart in Ottawa, Illinois, is going to prison after pleading guilty in a LaSalle County, Illinois court to attempting to assault a woman in the store restroom.

According to a Thursday article in the Ottawa (Illinois) Times, Carvis Purvis was sentenced to six and one-half years in prison after pleading guilty to trying to force himself on the woman Aug. 29 in the ladies’ restroom. He could be eligible for release in three years, the article said.

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Purvis was in the Ottawa area where he was helping move a boat from Waukegan, Illinois, to Mississippi on the Illinois River. The boat had been docked in the Ottawa area for several weeks, at the time the assault occurred.

According to the Times article, La Salle County State’s Attorney Karen Donnelly said Purvis told police he spent the night before the attack in his truck in the Walmart parking lot. In the morning, he entered the store and wandered around, then spotted a woman he believed would not put up much resistance to him.

He watched her enter a bathroom and followed her inside. As the woman was leaving a stall, Purvis shoved her back in and put his hand over her mouth, but the woman was able to scream. Store employees responded, stopped the attack and prevented Purvis from leaving.

Purvis told police he was addicted to pornography and fantasized about tying up women and raping them.

Purvis was declared mentally unfit to stand trial at a November court hearing and was sent to a state mental facility for treatment. He was found to be competent in February, and was returned to the La Salle County Jail, with the trial resuming.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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