Wheeling man charged with sexually abusing girl

Updated 4/22/2019 5:11 PM

A 56-year-old Wheeling man was ordered held on $250,000 bail Monday on charges he sexually abused a girl more than two years ago when she was 10 years old.

If convicted of predatory criminal sexual assault, Juan Teran-Vargas faces up to 30 years in prison.


Prosecutors say the girl called her mother after the abuse occurred in December 2016 in Prospect Heights but told her mother Teran-Vargas tried to kiss her, not that he had sexually assaulted her, said Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Ryan DeGroot.

When the girl's mother called Teran-Vargas to confront him, he denied the behavior and subsequently left the house, DeGroot said.

Last November, the girl told classmates about the abuse. They persuaded her to tell school officials, who initiated an investigation, DeGroot said.

Teran-Vargas told police Saturday he had sex with a teenage girl in Mexico with whom he now has a 3-year-old child, DeGroot said.

The girl's older sister told police Teran-Vargas abused her when she was 13 years old, DeGroot said. That case is being investigated by Lake County authorities.

Teran-Vargas was ordered to surrender his passport and may not have contact with anyone under 18. He next appears in court May 24.

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