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updated: 11/14/2013 2:50 PM

Man pleads not guilty in Mundelein child abduction

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  • Jose E. Reyes

    Jose E. Reyes


A Chicago man pleaded not guilty in Lake County court to charges he kidnapped and molested a 3-year-old Mundelein girl.

Jose Reyes, 28, of the 4900 block of West North Avenue, could be sentenced to 150 years in prison if found guilty of charges of aggravated kidnapping, kidnapping, predatory criminal sexual assault, production of child pornography, and possession of child pornography, Judge Christopher Stride said Thursday.

Reyes is held in Lake County jail in lieu of $5 million bail. The public defender has been appointed to defend him.

During the brief arraignment hearing, Reyes wondered why he was being represented by the public defender and not a private attorney.

"I don't understand ... I didn't do it," Reyes said in court, prompting Stride to enter a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Reyes faces up to 60 years behind bars for the sexual assault charge, 30 years for each of the two counts of production of child pornography, and 30 years for aggravated kidnapping. If Reyes is convicted on any of the changes, the sentences would be served consecutively, Stride said. If he is found guilty of all charges, he could be sentenced up to 150 years in prison, Stride said.

The remaining two charges are class two felonies that carry a maximum prison sentence of seven years, Stride said.

Reyes is accused of approaching the 3-year-old victim and her 9-year-old sister at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 30, near the entrance to an apartment building in the Deepwoods Apartment complex on the 500 block of Deepwoods Drive, authorities said.

After the older girl refused candy offered by Reyes, authorities said, he grabbed the younger child, strapped her in the front seat of his 2007 Hyundai Accent and sped off while the 9-year-old screamed for help.

About 30 minutes later -- after police were summoned to the scene -- a man found the victim wandering in a nearby parking lot and called police. She was reunited with her mother, then taken to a hospital and tested, police said.

Video surveillance from where the girl was dropped off and a traffic ticket that recently had been issued to Reyes, led police to interview and arrest him at his Libertyville job on Oct. 2.

Assistant State's Attorney Fred Day would not discuss the case following the arraignment hearing.

Reyes' trial was scheduled for Jan. 21. His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 10.

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