Gary Becker was given a Feb. 1, 2010, trial date today -- more than a year after he was arrested in an internet sex sting and forced to resign as Racine's mayor.
He will face the most serious charges -- child enticement, attempted sexual assault of a child and possession of child pornography -- before Judge Stephen Simanek. A lesser charge of misconduct in public office, for asking city employees to fix his personal computer -- a request that led to everything else -- will come at a later date.
Becker appeared before Simanek Tuesday afternoon, when the judge also set a hearing on defense motions for Dec. 3. Filings and evidence submitted by Becker's attorney, Pat Cafferty, have been suppressed and are under seal. Cafferty said their release "may taint the jury pool."
At the 10-minute hearing today, Simanek also warned Becker to make arrangements to pay the $945 bill that has accrued so far for his GPS monitoring device. If that is not done, the judge said, then Becker "is going upstairs," into jail until his trial. Becker and his attorney agreed to do so, and he remains free on bond.
District Attorney Michael Nieskes assured the judge that copies of all 1,800 internet chat transtcripts -- allegedly between Becker and the Department of Criminal Investigations agent who was impersonating a 14-year-old girl -- have been turned over to the defense. While some are only a few lines in length, others go on for "page after page."
Becker was arrested on Jan. 13 and resigned as mayor on Jan. 20. Last week, his wife Julie was granted a divorce.