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Article updated: 2/15/2014 12:37 PM

Convicted sex offender faces new charges

Robert Sobczak

Robert Sobczak

 
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This story has been updated to clarify that the latest charge against Robert Sobczak has no connection to Willow Creek Community Church.

A former church volunteer who recently pleaded guilty to molesting an 8-year-old boy at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington faces new sexual assault charges.

A Cook County judge set bail at $500,000 Thursday for Robert Sobczak, 20, who has now been charged with sexually assaulting a Schaumburg teen who is autistic and developmentally disabled. The latest charge has no connection to Willow Creek, officials said.

Sobczak is currently serving two years' probation for molesting the other boy.

During Thursday's hearing on the new charges, Judge Jill Cerone Marisie ordered Sobczak have no contact with the accuser and no contact with anyone under age 18, said Assistant State's Attorney Elizabeth Brogan.

Brogan said the teen told his mother earlier this month that Sobczak had molested him in December 2012 and March 2013. A police investigation led to charges of criminal sexual assault, felony punishable by four to 15 years in prison, though probation is an option.

In addition to criminal charges, Sobczak, who lives in Niles, faces two lawsuits seeking more than $50,000. Both were filed on behalf of children who attended Willow Creek's Special Friends Program for youngsters with special needs. The suit names Sobczak and Willow Creek, charging church officials did not properly supervise Sobczak.

One of the suits was filed on behalf of the 8-year-old boy Sobzcak molested. The other suit involves a different child. No criminal charges have been filed in that case.

A spokeswoman confirmed that church officials immediately removed Sobczak from his volunteer position after learning about the initial charges. Willow Creek representatives, in a written statement, declined to comment, citing the pending litigation. However, they indicated they continue to cooperate with police and "remain committed to the safety and protection of all children and vulnerable adults who attend our church."

Sobczak next appears in court on March 6.

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