A Glendale Heights man charged with randomly molesting a 12-year-old girl outside his apartment building is suspected in at least five similar incidents dating back five years, police said Wednesday.
Aaron Tentle-Hernandez, 33, of the 2300 block of Century Point, appeared in DuPage County bond court on a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Authorities said he was nabbed about 9 p.m. Monday after he approached a 12-year-old girl at his apartment complex, hugged her, and forced her to touch him inappropriately.
It was at least the fifth similar complaint against him in that area since 2007, according to Glendale Heights Police Sgt. Doug Flint, who said previous victims declined to press charges.
"The guy has been out there doing this kind of freakish stuff to young girls for five years," Flint said, adding that police were relieved the most recent victim came forward.
All of the allegations involve women or children in and around Tentle-Hernandez's apartment complex, which includes a park.
In 2007, police said, he was accused of exposing himself through the window of his apartment and from his balcony. In 2009 and 2010, he was accused of both touching young girls and inappropriately touching himself in front of young girls. And in 2011, he was again accused of exposing himself, according to police.
"He's named in every report," Flint said. "It was just that nobody wanted to pursue charges."
Flint said police made an arrest Monday after the victim identified the defendant as an officer interviewed her at the scene.
Because of her age, he said, the case was referred to the DuPage County Children's Center, which interviewed the suspect on Tuesday before filing charges.
Assistant State's Attorney Amanda Meindl said Tentle-Hernandez has previously faced marijuana charges and is considered a flight risk because he is in the U.S. illegally. If convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, he could face up to seven years in prison and eventual deportation.
Defense attorney Isuf Kola said Tentle-Hernandez has resided locally for more than 10 years and has family in the area.
"He's presumed innocent of the charges," Kola said in court.
Judge Elizabeth Sexton set bail at $125,000 and ordered Tentle-Hernandez to have no contact with children. If he posts the necessary $12,500 to bond out of jail, he also must wear a GPS tracking device. Flint said police have asked the state's attorney's office to explore additional charges.
"We want to thank the children's center for their cooperation and for taking the lead in this investigation," he said.
Tentle-Hernandez is due back in court Aug. 27 before Judge Robert Kleeman.