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updated: 12/6/2013 4:30 PM

Arlington Heights man charged with sexual abuse

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A 35-year-old Arlington Heights man faces charges he sexually abused a teenage girl.

Thomas Benefield was ordered held on $30,000 bond Friday by Cook County Judge Jill Cerone Marisie. She also ordered Benefield to have no contact with the girl, her family or anyone under age 18.

Benefield and the now-17-year-old girl began conversing online in July 2011, said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Moe Ahmad. In addition to sexually explicit conversations, their online interaction included the exchange of nude photos, Ahmad said.

Twice in July 2011, Benefield picked the girl up from school and took her to his home where they had sex, Ahmad said.

The girl contacted Arlington Heights police who arrested Benefield on Wednesday. Prosecutors said he has no criminal background.

He next appears in court on Jan. 2.

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