Recent revelation leads to arrest in rural Rantoul molestation case

Recent revelation leads to arrest in rural Rantoul molestation case

URBANA — A Nebraska man is in custody in Champaign County for allegedly sexually molesting a child near Rantoul a decade ago, three years after a conviction for a similar offense in another state.

Champaign County Judge John Kennedy issued a warrant Aug. 21 for the arrest of Cesar Marino, 52, after he was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

Marino, of Dewitt, Neb., was arrested in that state the next day and returned to Urbana last week.

Champaign County sheriff's Lt. Curt Apperson said on Aug. 1, his office received a phone call from the victim's mother. She reported that her daughter was allegedly sexually assaulted by Marino in rural Rantoul in late 2008 and 2009.

Marino is a relative of the girl's father and she recently saw him at a family gathering in another state, Apperson said, and disclosed to her mother what had happened to her years ago.

Apperson said Champaign County sheriff's investigators arranged for the girl, now a teen, to return to Champaign County where she was interviewed by experts at the Children's Advocacy Center. She reported that Marino sexually assaulted her on more than one occasion.

The information disclosed by her was enough for the state's attorney to file charges and for Kennedy to issue a warrant with a $1 million bond.

Marino appeared in court Friday and his bond was left at that amount. The public defender's office was appointed to represent him and Kennedy continued the case until Oct. 2.

Assistant State's Attorney Tim Sullivan said Marino had a conviction in 2005 for child molestation from the state of Washington.

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