A Bull Valley, Illinois, man who had been a Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer was sentenced to five years in prison for sexual abuse of a 12-year-old boy he was mentoring in 2009. The 53-year-old man was sentenced by the same McHenry County judge who convicted him this May.
Although the man’s attorney had lobbied for probation, the prosecutor asked for the maximum of seven years for the aggravated criminal sexual abuse charge. She argued that the defendant did not understand boundaries and would abuse other children if given the opportunity. The judge, in his sentencing, said that probation would diminish the gravity of the crime.
According to two men who testified during the trial, and another two who were at the sentencing, this case was not the first time the defendant sexually abused a boy. They say that he engaged in sexual behavior with them in the 1980s and 1990s when they were young adolescents. Because the statute of limitations has expired, the defendant cannot be charged in these cases.
In light of the sentence, prosecutors are dropping a charge of sexual assault against another child, as well as a charge of computer tampering. The state’s assistant attorney said that her office was satisfied that the defendant would be behind bars. She noted that he took advantage of his association with the mentoring organization to victimize a boy who had no father or other men in his life. According to Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County, the defendant was only a volunteer with them for a month during 2009.
The defendant’s statement that he read in court before his sentencing left open the question of whether he understood the seriousness of his actions. He noted that he had good intentions, but mentored the boy in the wrong way, and allowed himself to get too close to him.
It was not reported why the charges were dropped, particularly the one involving another boy. It seems as though anything that would increase the time behind bars that someone who engages in this type of criminal activity spends is worth fighting for. Perhaps while is serving his sentence, other victims whose abuse is within the statute of limitations will come forward to make sure that this man is held accountable for any other crimes he may have committed.
Chicago Tribune, “Former Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer gets 5 years in jail for abusing boy” Amanda Marrazzo, Oct. 18, 2013
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Former ‘Big Brother’ sentenced to 5 years for sexual abuse