A DuPage County judge Thursday sentenced a Carol Stream man to 35 years in prison for sexually abusing and taking lewd photographs of his longtime girlfriend's young daughter.
A jury deliberated for less than two hours in April before finding Joel Augustine, 36, guilty of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, three counts of criminal sexual assault of a child and one count of child pornography.
Here's the breakdown of his sentence:
Bakalis sentenced Augustine to consecutive sentences of five years each for the three counts of criminal sexual abuse of a child and eight years for each of the predatory criminal sexual assault counts. Served at 85 percent, This amounts to 26.35 years.
Bakalis also sentenced Augustine to four years on the pornography charge. Served at 50 percent, this adds an additional two years for a total of 28.35 years. Augustine also receives credit for almost exactly two years he has been in DuPage County Jail since his arrest.
Jurors concluded Augustine frequently assaulted the girl 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 she said threatened to break her jaw if she ever told.
The abuse came to light in October 2012 when the mother of a girl who said she was assaulted by Augustine during an August 2012 sleepover at his home contacted authorities. Augustine originally was charged with assaulting the friend, too, but those charges were dropped after Augustine was convicted of the longtime abuse of his girlfriend's daughter.
Judge George Bakalis cited Augustine's prior arrests for marijuana possession, drunken driving, domestic battery and failure to register as a sex offender, among other offenses.
"This defendant's history indicates he takes what he wants, when he wants it, in any manner he sees fit," Bakalis said during Thursday's sentencing.
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.
DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin issued a statement after the sentencing hearing.
"For more than three years, this young victim was forced to live under the same roof as her attacker. I can only imagine the fear and horrors she had to face on a daily basis in the form of Joel Augustine," Berlin wrote. "Through this ordeal, however, she managed to find the strength and courage to confront (Augustine) and help us put an end to his reign of terror. She is a remarkable young girl and it is my sincerest hope that she will recover fully from the emotional and physical harm (Augustine) has so mercilessly inflicted upon her."