Judge acquits Piatt County man of molesting girl

Judge acquits Piatt County man of molesting girl

MONTICELLO — A rural Monticello man was acquitted Tuesday of sexually molesting a child in his home.

Moultrie County Judge Dan Flannell called the state's case against Terry Cresap "close" but found Cresap, 55, not guilty of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for an incident that allegedly happened at his home on Feb. 19.

Cresap had been charged in March with inappropriately touching a then-12-year-old girl who was spending the night with his daughter at their home.

The girl called her parents from the bathroom to tell them what had happened. They drove her immediately to the Piatt County sheriff's office to report the incident.

Cresap waived his right to a jury trial and had Flannell hear the evidence, which included the girl's testimony, a recorded statement that she gave to a professional at the Child Advocacy Center in Decatur and that of a Piatt County sheriff's deputy.

The trial started Monday and wrapped up Tuesday afternoon.

Piatt County State's Attorney Dana Rhoades prosecuted. Cresap was represented by Monticello attorney Roger Simpson.

In an unrelated sex case resolved last week in Piatt County, John A. Sims, 42, of Monticello, was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

He had been charged in March with criminal sexual assault for having sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl beginning last fall.

Rhoades said that Sims was the woman's supervisor at work in Monticello and that he admitted to a sex act that occurred in late December.

Rhoades said Sims had two prior convictions for aggravated criminal sexual abuse, one in Champaign County and another in Piatt County, both in 2003.

The earlier story:

Man charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse

MONTICELLO — A rural Monticello man has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse for allegedly molesting a girl at his home last month.

Piatt County State's Attorney Dana Rhoades said she filed the charge Thursday against Terry Cresap, 54, in connection with a Feb. 19 incident.

Piatt County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Mark Huckstep said a 12-year-old girl was spending the night with Cresap's child at their home on County Road 1200 E that day when he allegedly touched her inappropriately.

Huckstep said the girl called her parents from Cresap's home. They picked her up and drove to the sheriff's office in Monticello to report what had happened.

Huckstep said Cresap was arrested at his home on Feb. 24. He posted bond and has been free since then. He is due to appear in court on the newly filed charge March 29.

Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a felony carrying penalties ranging from probation to three to seven years in prison upon conviction.

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