Round Lake church volunteer denies sexual assault of child
A Round Lake man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to accusations he sexually assaulted a child while serving as a church volunteer.
Roberto D. Almeida, 42, of the 1200 block of West Oriole Court, formally denied charges of predatory criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse stemming from allegations he molested a boy at different times between 2005 to 2012, Lake County prosecutor Jason Grindel said.
If found guilty of the most serious charges, Almeida would face six to 60 years in prison, Grindel said.
Bond initially was set at $1 million for the former church volunteer but lowered to $500,000 Wednesday after Grindel said an investigation failed to turn up additional accusers. Almeida remained in custody at the Lake County jail on Wednesday.
Defense attorney Thomas Needham said in court that Almeida is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has no previous criminal background and is a lifelong resident of Illinois.
Almeida turned himself in to police on Jan. 21 after a warrant was issued for his arrest on Jan. 20, Needham added.
Grindel said the accuser told counselors in December 2014 that Almeida first abused him when the Round Lake man was a volunteer at a church. Authorities have declined to identify the church or say where the abuse is reported to have occurred.
Almeida initially assumed the role of a mentor, Grindel said, but mentorship turned to sexual assault. The assaults are believed to have occurred both before and after the boy's 13th birthday, Grindel said.
Authorities said Almeida is no longer a volunteer at the church.
If he posts bond, Almeida will be placed on a 24-hour curfew and must abstain from drugs and alcohol, surrender his passport and not have any contact with the accuser.
Almeida is due back in court on April 15. His trial is scheduled for June 1.