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updated: 7/14/2014 1:58 PM

West Chicago man sentenced in 2012 sexual assault

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A West Chicago man was sentenced to prison Monday in the 2012 rape of an 11-year-old girl with whom he shared a home.

Juan Hernandez, 18, of the 400 block of Church Street in West Chicago, pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated criminal sexual assault in exchange for prosecutors dropping eight other related charges.

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As a result of the deal, he will serve 18 years in prison and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Assistant State's Attorney Nicole Wilkes-English said Hernandez grabbed the girl in the home on Dec. 26, 2012, and put a knife against her back to lead her to the bedroom.

"He held the knife to her chest as he assaulted her and told her he would harm or kill her mother if she did not comply," Wilkes-English said. "He tried to assault her one day earlier but (the victim) screamed, alerting others and ending the attempt. He used a knife this time so she would not scream like she did the day before."

Wilkes-English said Hernandez, who was 16 at the time of the assault, admitted to assaulting the girl between three and five times a month over a period of two to three years.

Before the plea, Hernandez faced between 16 and 40 years in prison. He will serve 85 percent of the 18-year sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Hernandez, who is not a U.S. citizen, also faces deportation at the conclusion of his sentence.

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