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posted: 1/31/2014 9:17 PM

Church youth leader accused of sex assault

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  • Matthew J. Harder

      Matthew J. Harder

 

A Lake Villa youth worship leader was charged with criminal sexual assault by Lake County authorities.

On Friday, sheriff's deputies arrested Matthew J. Harder, 18, of the 1000 Block of Barberry Lane in Round Lake Beach.

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Deputies said Harder, a youth worship leader for the Chain of Lakes Community Bible Church in Lake Villa, made inappropriate sexual contact with two girls.

The girls reported to the church on Jan. 25 that, on separate occasions, Harder had inappropriate sexual contact with them while driving them home from church, deputies said.

Harder confirmed to sheriff's detectives that he indeed was involved in inappropriate sexual contact with both victims, authorities said.

Harder was charged with criminal sexual abuse, criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

His bond was set at $250,000. He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 5.

Sheriff's deputies are requesting anyone who has additional information or who has been a victim of Harder to call (847) 549-5200.

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