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updated: 4/22/2014 4:18 PM

Judge rejects sex abuse plea deal for 75-year-old man

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  • Robert Eberhardt

    Robert Eberhardt


A judge rejected a plea deal with a sentence that included 30 days in jail for a 75-year-old Lake Villa man accused of sexually abusing a child.

Lake County Judge George Bridges said Tuesday he turned down the deal because a pre-sentence sex offender evaluation by court psychologists determined Robert Eberhardt had "clearly admitted to" sexually abusing other minors 30 years before being charged with eight counts of sexual abuse in Lake Villa on Oct. 1, 2013. Bridges and Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Victor O'Block noted Eberhardt had no previous arrests.

However, Bridges indicated that past abuse shows Eberhardt is having trouble being rehabilitated, and more serious steps are needed.

The ruling came after O'Block said the state and defense attorney Jeremy Harter had agreed to have Eberhardt plead guilty to a single count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse with a victim under the age of 13. It would have carried of sentence of 30 days in Lake County jail, 12 months of periodic imprisonment, an additional six months on electronic home monitoring, and 100 hours of community service.

Eberhardt also would have had to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Harter refused to comment after the hearing.

Eberhardt pleaded not guilty in November to multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving a victim under the age of 13, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving a victim under the age of 18. If found guilty of the most serious crimes at trial, he could be sentenced up to 15 years in prison.

He remains free after posting the required 10 percent of his $100,000 bail.

The two sides will return to court June 9 for a hearing on the matter.

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