A Carol Stream man was found guilty Tuesday of several molestation charges involving a teen and faces a minimum 28 years in prison. Similar charges involving a second teen are pending.
A DuPage County jury deliberated less than two hours before finding Joel Augustine, 35, guilty of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, two counts of criminal sexual assault of a child and one count of child pornography.
Jurors concluded Augustine routinely assaulted one of his girlfriend's teenage daughters from the fall of 2009 through the fall of 2012.
During the three-day trial the girl, now 16, testified Augustine molested her routinely until the final assault on Oct. 11, 2012, when she contemplated hanging herself to end the abuse.
The teen testified she never told anyone about what was happening because she was intimidated by Augustine, who allegedly threatened to break her jaw if she ever told.
"(The assaults) happened again and again and again to the point it became routine," Assistant State's Attorney Kirsten King told the jury during closing arguments. "(Augustine) used his position in the household to groom the victim for his own sexual gratification."
The abuse came to light in October 2012 when the mother of a girl who claimed she too was assaulted by Augustine during an August 2012 sleepover at his home contacted authorities.
Augustine remains charged with criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse in that case and is next due in court on Tuesday. Sentencing will likely delayed until the resolution of that case.
During closing arguments, Tuesday, defense attorney Kelly Bennett repeated his claims the victim had lied about the alleged abuse to keep Augustine away from her mother, whom he has admitted to physically abusing.
"This is a story about a little girl who wants to protect her mother, who is angry at Joel Augustine, and rightfully so," Bennett told jurors. "But this is not the right way to go about it."
Bennett told the jury the case was full of too many "subjective, self-serving statements" and "not enough objective testimony" to convict Augustine.
When sentenced, Augustine faces between six and 60 years in prison on each of the two predatory criminal sexual assault charges and between four and 15 years for each of the three criminal sexual assault charges and the child pornography charge.
Any sentences handed down will be served consecutively.
Augustine previously served time in prison and became a registered sex offender after he was convicted of attacking his then-17-year-old girlfriend near her workplace in 1999, when he was 21, according to court records. He also has prior arrests for marijuana possession, drunken driving, domestic battery and failure to register as a sex offender, among other offenses.