Author: Lisa BlackTribune reporter
A Winthrop Harbor teen has been charged with sexually assaulting three young girls at his mother’s licensed home day care, police announced Tuesday.
Brett A. Degler, 17, faces charges of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, said Sgt. Chris Willets, a Winthrop Harbor police detective. Degler’s arrest follows a two-week investigation by Winthrop Harbor detectives.
Degler is being held in Lake County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, Willets said.
The girls were between ages 4 and 11 at the time of the alleged assaults, which occurred during a five-month period beginning in November 2011, Willets said.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services also began investigating the case after receiving a complaint to its hotline on March 8, said Jimmie Whitelow, agency spokesman.
Prior to this year, “we have not had any allegations of abuse or neglect” at the residential facility, Whitelow said.
Cheryl Degler, the day care provider, “has surrendered her license,” Whitelow said.
Cheryl Degler, who could not be reached, was not charged with a crime.
“The mother had nothing to do with it,” Willets said. “She is no longer doing daycare.”
Police do not believe there are any other victims, he said.
The Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center conducted interviews with the children, and the victims were treated at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, according to a news release.
A parent initially contacted authorities after a child complained of experiencing pain related to the alleged abuse, Willets said. The child was able to indicate when and how she was abused, he said.