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Local News

Convicted kidnapper arrested on sex offender charges

Tessah S. Mitchell, 27, Joliet
Tessah S. Mitchell, 27, Joliet

A Joliet woman convicted of kidnapping a baby almost 20 years ago was arrested on charges that she failed to register as a sex offender and that she knowingly was present in a school zone.

An arrest warrant was issued for Tessah S. Mitchell, 37, of Joliet, on Aug. 1, 2016, charging her with providing Joliet police with false information about her phone number, failing to inform them of a change to her employment address and being at the Kindercare and 2605 Black Road.

In 2011, Mitchell unsuccessfully tried to contest her status as a registered sex offender in the years after her conviction because her crime was not sexual.

She complained in a hand-written motion that being on the registry was “disrupting” her “employment situation.” She suggested being placed instead on the violent offender against youth registry.

Mitchell was sentenced to 13 years in prison on Feb. 7, 2001, for kidnapping a 9-day-old baby from Silver Cross Hospital the previous year after she suffered a miscarriage.

Her attorneys at the time raised objections to Mitchell being placed on the sex offender registry. Defense attorney Joe Polito said her crime was not a sexual offense.

Last Friday, officers on patrol came into contact with Mitchell at the corner of West Jefferson Street and North Midland Avenue, Joliet police Sgt. Darrell Gavin said in an email. She was arrested on the 2016 warrant.

Mitchell is being held at the Will County jail on a $150,000 bond.

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