Rantoul man convicted of sex assault charges

Rantoul man convicted of sex assault charges

URBANA — A Rantoul man convicted of repeatedly sexually molesting a teen during 2012 faces up to 75 years in prison.

A Champaign County jury deliberated a little over two hours Thursday before finding Dahinte T. Thompson, 39, guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and criminal sexual assault.

The charges stemmed from sex acts that occurred with the same girl in the late summer and early fall of 2012 at a home in Rantoul.

However, the girl told authorities — in an interview played for the jury — that the abuse had been going on for about six years. It came to light in mid-November when she told friends at school about it and they took her to a school social worker, who then contacted Rantoul police.

Among the witnesses the jury heard from in the four-day trial were the girl, Rantoul police detectives, a doctor who examined the girl, the girl's friend to whom she initially reported the abuse, a social worker and the girl's mother and sister.

Assistant State's Attorney Stephanie Weber also called as a witness a relative of Thompson who testified that he sexually molested her, from the time she was 7 to the age of 11, approximately 25 years ago.

Thompson was a caretaker for the teenage victim, whose mother worked multiple jobs and often left the girl with Thompson.

The jury also heard a tape-recorded phone call that Thompson made from the county jail to the girl's mother in which he instructed her to fill out an affidavit saying that the allegations the girl made had been fabricated.

Thompson was represented by Assistant Public Defender Jamie Propps, who argued that the girl and the woman who testified about being molested years ago were not credible.

Thompson chose not to testify in his own defense, as is his right.

Judge Tom Difanis set sentencing for July 31.

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