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updated: 5/27/2014 4:22 PM

Arlington Heights man pleads guilty to abusing teen

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A 35-year-old Arlington Heights man pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a then-15-year-old girl in July 2011, according to the man's attorney, Cook County Assistant Public Defender Calvin Aguilar.

Thomas D. Benefield pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a class two felony, and was sentenced to four years in prison, Aguilar said.

Benefield, who has no criminal background, received credit for seven days in custody. He must complete at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Benefield began conversing with the girl online in 2011, prosecutors said during his bond hearing last December. The conversations were sexually explicit, prosecutors said, and included the exchange of nude photographs.

Twice in July 2011, Benefield picked the girl up from school and took her to his home where they had sex, prosecutors said at the time of his arrest.

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