Ex-church deacon pleads guilty to sexually assaulting girl

An ex-church deacon accused of sexually assaulting a young girl over a 10-year period pleaded guilty Friday in DuPage County court and waived his rights to a jury trial.

Timothy Peltz, 52, entered blind pleas of guilty to four counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Nineteen other charges were dismissed. Peltz faces between 24 and 120 years in prison on the consecutive counts.

Authorities said Peltz frequently assaulted the girl when she was between 3 and 13 years old. Officials from Living Hope Bible Church in Roselle, where Peltz worked as a deacon until early 2016, said the abuse did not take place on church grounds or during any church activities.

The assaults stopped when the girl was 13 "because she was able to physically resist," but began again last year, according to Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Lindt.

The girl eventually reported the assaults to her mother, who reported them to police. On Friday, prosecutors said Peltz confessed to the misconduct and said he knew it was wrong, but thought it was consensual.

Peltz will be required to register as a lifetime sex offender and serve 85 percent of his sentence. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 16 for return of pre-sentence report.

He has been held on $1 million bail since he was first charged in September 2016.

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