An Elk Grove Village man convicted of multiple sex offenses against two young Addison girls was sentenced Friday to 46 years in prison.
Scott Gates, 35, was convicted in January of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child.
Prosecutors said Gates went uninvited to the Addison home of an ex-girlfriend in the early morning hours of June 11, 2011, and used a key to get inside despite knowing she wasn't home.
As several children and his ex-girlfriend's mother slept, Gates molested his ex-girlfriend's 9-year-old daughter who slept in the family room. The assault was stopped when an older sister noticed what was going on and questioned Gates.
The sisters kept the assault a secret for a short time, until the family moved to Texas and away from Gates. Assistant State's Attorney Mandy Meindl said the girls, so afraid of Gates, waited until there was a thousand miles separating them before sharing what happened with their mother.
"He destroyed these people's lives," Meindl told judge John Kinsella, who handed down the sentence. "The devastation this family feels can never be remedied. This is something they may never recover from."
During the investigation, the woman's 5-year-old daughter also came forward with allegations that Gates had touched her inappropriately several times, including during bathing and other times after her mother left for work.
The mother wrote a victim impact statement, which was read by Meindl. In it she described her feelings of guilt for bringing Gates into her daughters' lives.
"My love for him blinded me from seeing the truth," she wrote. "He betrayed all of us and I feel guilty that I was not there. Words cannot express the damage this defendant has done to our family."
Gates, however, remained defiant, telling Kinsella he stood by his testimony that the girls' stories were fabricated. He intends to appeal.
"I'm confident justice will be served during the appeal process," Gates said. "I look forward to getting home and reuniting with my family."
Gates was paroled in 2009 from a seven-year prison term for aggravated battery with a firearm and has a 1999 conviction for theft of labor services.
Gates must serve nearly 36 years of the sentence before being eligible for as much as a lifetime of sex-offender parole.