Corinne DiLorenzo was in court Thursday on the charge of aggravated cruelty to animals.
It was a status hearing, with her attorney Robert Regas asking for 60-90 days to respond to the discovery the state has provided, said Iroquois County States Attorney Jim Devine. The next status hearing will be at 1:30 p.m. May 28.
Devine gave the history of DeLorenzo’s case.
She was charged Nov. 7, 2019, and arrested at the end of December in Will County, where she was living.
On Jan. 23 she had her first court appearance and she posted the $10,000/10 percent bond. She was arraigned Jan. 16 and the state was ordered to give its discovery.
The charge of aggravated cruelty to animals stems from police finding hundreds of animals’ bones on a few acre plot in the village limits of Thawville, Devine said.
The acreage was owned by a 501(c)3, Earth Advocates Sanctuary, DiLorenzo was part of between 2014-19, he said. “It was advertised as an animal sanctuary, a place people could take their animals if they couldn’t care for them anymore. In that time she received hundreds of all kinds of different animals from all over the state and surrounding states,” he said. “People donated their animals to her.”
The investigation into her operation began in 2019, after a suspicious barn fire Sept. 1, 2018, killed several animals.
“As a result of that fire, animal rights activists started questioning her care and treatment of the animals,” he said.
The sheriff’s department began an investigation, and the search of the property found the remains of bones. The bones were dug up out of the property and taken to an anthropologist at the University of Illinois who determined these animals may not have died from natural causes, he said.