Suburban man gets 24 years for fatal drugging of Spanish exchange student

DOWNERS GROVE (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A man from Downers Grove was sentenced to 24 years in prison for supplying a fatal dose of methadone to a 15-year-old exchange student from Spain.

Francis Emanuele, 38, pleaded guilty in November to a count of drug induced homicide and a count of indecent solicitation of a child—criminal sexual abuse, the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office said in a statement.

On May 3, 2016, her host parents found the exchange student deceased on her bed after she told them them she did not feel well enough to attend school, prosecutors said.

Investigators with the Glen Ellyn police department found an oral syringe with methadone in her bedroom, prosecutors said. Police determined that Emanuele gave the girl the drug and told her how to ingest it.

Prosecutors said Emanuele knew the exchange student through another exchange student living with his family. The investigation found that Emanuel, who was 36 at the time, exchanged sexually explicit texts with the girl.

“As a result of Mr. Emanuele’s actions, the promising life of a young girl came to a tragic end at the tender age of fifteen,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the statement.

Emanuele was sentenced 20 years for the homicide and four years for the solicitation, prosecutors said. He must serve 15 years before he is eligible for parole.