76-year-old man charged with sexually assaulting Arlington Heights girl

 
 

A 76-year-old man was ordered held on $2.5 million bail Tuesday on charges he sexually assaulted a young girl over the course of five years at various locations throughout Cook County, most recently in Arlington Heights.

Chang Lee, of Morton Grove, "perpetrated these acts for as long as (the girl) could remember," said Cook County assistant state's attorney David Mennie during Lee's bond hearing Tuesday afternoon in Rolling Meadows.

Lee has been charged with four counts of predatory criminal sexual assault. If convicted on all four counts, he faces between 24 and 240 years in prison.

Prosecutors say the abuse began in July 2011 when the girl was 8, and continued until November 2016. Lee told the girl not to tell her parents because it "would cause him to die from grief," Mennie said.

After the girl's mother witnessed something suspicious, Mennie said, the girl's father confronted Lee, who denied anything improper had taken place. Lee stated the girl's father was overreacting to a "cultural misunderstanding," Mennie said.

The girl told her mother about the abuse two weeks ago, Mennie said.

Lee told police it would do "no good for him to go to prison because he is old and will pass away soon," Mennie said. He also offered to pay the girl $500 a month to "alleviate any pain or emotional scarring for what she believes," Mennie said.

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Defense attorney Sheldon Sorosky said his client is "an elderly man" who suffers from high blood pressure, diabetes and a heart condition. Given Lee's age and health problems, incarceration "could be a death sentence," said Sorosky, who asked Lee be released on home confinement and electronic monitoring.

Cook County Judge Joseph Cataldo denied Sorosky's request and ordered Lee have no contact with the girl.

Lee next appears in court on Feb. 24.

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