Elk Grove Village man guilty in sexual abuse of girls

An Elk Grove Village man faces a maximum 127 years in prison after being convicted of multiple sex offenses against two young girls.

A 12-member DuPage County jury deliberated for almost seven hours Thursday before finding Scott Gates, 35, guilty of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child. Gates was acquitted of three counts of home invasion.

DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said he hopes the girls can live as normal lives as possible moving forward.

“My heart goes out to these two young girls who were the subject of (Gates') twisted desires,” Berlin said after the verdict was read. ”It is my sincerest hope they will be able to recover from the emotional scars he has undoubtedly inflicted upon them.”

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, prosecutors said Gates molested his ex-girlfriend's 9-year-old daughter who slept in the family room. The assault was stopped, they say, when an older sister noticed what was going on and questioned Gates.

“(Gates) came over uninvited, let himself in and proceeded to take advantage of the first person he recognized. Unfortunately he found a 9-year-old girl sleeping on the couch,” said Assistant State's Attorney Deborah Brewer. “He just gets there, walks around, gets horny and ruins a little girl's life.”

The sisters kept the assault a secret for a short time, until the family moved to Texas and away from Gates. Brewer said they kept the secret so as to not “hurt their mom and disrupt the family.”

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 the mother left for work.

“He used these kids like sex toys,” Brewer said. “This is a crime of him wanting sex, and when an adult's not around to give him what he wants he touches and molests kids.”

Gates' attorney Michael Greco, however, called the girl's stories fabricated and an invention of facts.

“These girls have motivation to draw attention from their mother during a tumultuous move,” Greco said. “But their recollections just can't be reconciled with each other.”

Assistant State's Attorney Mandy Meindl called Greco's allegations “ridiculous.”

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 is next due in court on March 3 for post-trial motions and the possible setting of a sentencing date.

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