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A Carterville woman has been charged with repeated harassment of Illinois's senators in U.S. District Court in Benton.

Jura L. Perkins allegedly made more than 200 repeated, abusive telephone calls to harass U.S. Sens. Richard Durbin and Tammy Duckworth and their staff between May 28, 2018 and Oct. 25, 2018.

A complaint filed Oct. 24 in Southern District Court in Benton shows Vincent Veloz, special agent with U.S. Capitol Police, investigated the allegations against Perkins. (Sen. Durbin is noted in court documents at S-1 and Duckworth is S-2.) The complaint shows:

• On Memorial Day, May 28, 2018, Durbin’s staff reported a threatening voicemail from Perkins to U.S. Capital Police.

“Unfortunately the communist is my Senator … I’m just so sickened today as we honor the fallen that I have to have a communist piece of (expletive) as a senator. Do not enjoy this day. I would be very happy if you died today actually … Go to hell, communist pig,” Perkins said in the voicemail.

Capitol police requested Carterville Police interview Perkins, and Perkins admitted to making the statements.

• On July 27, 2018, staff notified Duckworth of a threat left for her through repeated, harassing calls from Perkins. During a call at 4:18 a.m., Perkins refers to the senator as a “stupid b---- from Thailand” and repeated the phrase “(expletive) you, communist pig.” Staff sent an email with seven voicemails.

• On July 30, 2018, Duckworth’s staff reported eight new messages to U.S. Capitol Police that they described as “very volatile and racist” and “very offensive to our staff.”

• Then Perkins began trying to visit the Durbin’s Carbondale office. Staff of that office described Perkins as on Aug. 1, and capitol police were again notified. The police suggested they issue a cease and desist letter. They described Perkins as “becoming increasingly erratic.”

Through August, Perkins allegedly left more disturbing phone calls on answering machines in Duckworth’s offices in Springfield and Chicago.

Carterville police again tried to contact Perkins on Aug. 20, but were met with negative results. Carterville Police Department informed U.S. Capitol Police that Officer Jordan Kiesling made contact with Perkins on Aug. 21 and advised her she had to cease and desist from harassing phone calls. She told Kiesling she would do so.

The phone calls continued to the Washington D.C. and Carbondale offices of Sen. Duckworth from Aug. 23 into late October and became increasingly more aggressive and threatening. The messages contained more expletives and even threatened the senator’s baby.

A criminal complaint was filed Oct. 24 in Southern District Court in Benton. Perkins was indicted by a grand jury on Nov. 6.

Perkins will appear in court in Benton at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 3, 2019, for a competency hearing.

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Reporter

Marilyn Halstead is a reporter covering Williamson County.

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