A Grandwood Park man pleaded guilty Tuesday to molesting a 7-year-old child in 2012.
Nyasha Mbawa, 20, of the 36000 block of Grand Oaks Court, will be sentenced on June 18 in front of Lake County Judge James Booras to between 13 years and 30 years in prison. Mbawa pleaded guilty to one count of criminal sexual assault.
In addition to the mandatory prison time, Booras will sentence Mbawa to probation for a minimum of three years and a maximum of life after his release. He will also be required to register as a sex offender in Illinois for the rest of his life.
Defense attorney Jed Stone said in court that Mbawa would most likely leave Illinois after his release from prison, and stay with family in England or Africa.
Mbawa was facing 18 varying counts of sexually assaulting two young victims in 2012. He was arrested July 16, 2013, five days after the mother of one victim reported the assault to the Lake County sheriff's office.
Sheriff's police and the Lake County Children's Advocacy Center investigated the accusation, authorities said, and Mbawa told detectives he had inappropriate sexual contact with two victims.
He was facing mandatory life in prison had he been found guilty at trial.
Mbawa remains held in Lake County jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
Stone said after the plea deal that Mbawa was a victim of sexual abuse from a trusted family friend when he was a child, and "the scars of that trauma carried forward."
"We are glad the victims in this case are receiving treatment so those scars are not being carried forward for the rest of their lives," Stone said outside the courtroom.
As part of the plea deal, the remaining charges against Mbawa were dropped.